Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Today Would Be a Good Time to Start That Diet

More than 40% of American adults are clinically obese. That’s dangerous—and costly

Corrected

Did you step on the scale the morning after Thanksgiving and grimace? Yeah. In this season of indoor living and holidays, people pack on pounds that they never manage to unpack in the spring and summer. It’s worse this year because of Covid-19, which can trigger worry-eating.

The rate of adult obesity in the U.S. was 42.4% in 2017-18, the most recent period for which figures are available, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s an enormous increase from 30.5% in 1999-2000. Severe obesity reached 9.2% in 2017-18. Obesity is a body mass index of 30 or more; severe obesity is a BMI of 40 or more.