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Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

Latest Data

Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator.

Download the latest PA-2.4, NWS-9, and NWS-10.4 data in spreadsheet format.

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

In 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was released, and the Healthy People 2020 physical activity objectives developed in 2010 reflected these guidelines. From 2008 to 2015, the rate for adults aged 18 years and over who met the guidelines for aerobic physical activity and muscle-strengthening activity increased by 17.6%, from 18.2% to 21.4% (age adjusted), exceeding the Healthy People 2020 target of 20.1%.

Between 2005–2008 and 2011–2014, there was no statistically significant change in the obesity rate among adults aged 20 years and over (33.9% in 2005–2008 and 36.2% in 2011–2014, age adjusted) and youth aged 2–19 years (16.1% in 2005–2008 and 17.0% in 2011–2014).

Between 2005–2008 and 2009–2012, there was no statistically significant change in the mean daily vegetable intake of persons aged 2 years and over (0.76 cup equivalents of total vegetables per 1,000 calories, age adjusted, in 2005–2008 and 0.77 in 2009–2012). The Healthy People 2020 target is 1.16 cup equivalents per 1,000 calories.

Physical Activity (PA-2.4)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective PA-2.4 tracks the proportion of adults who report meeting current Federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity and for muscle-strengthening activity: at least 150 minutes of light/moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity and physical activities specifically designed to strengthen muscles at least twice per week.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2008, 18.2% of persons aged 18 years and over met the current Federal physical guidelines (age adjusted).
    • HP2020 Target: 20.1%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • Most Recent: In 2015, 21.4% of persons aged 18 years and over met the current Federal physical activity guidelines (age adjusted).
  • In 2015, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander adults had the highest rate among racial and ethnic groups, with 32.8% of adults aged 18 years and over (age adjusted) who met current Federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity and for muscle-strengthening activity. Age-adjusted rates for the other racial/ethnic groups were:
    • 16.6% among the Hispanic population; the best group rate was twice as high
    • 18.9% among the American Indian or Alaska Native population; the best group rate was 73.5% higher
    • 19.4% among the Asian population; the best group rate was 69.5% higher
    • 19.7% among the black non-Hispanic population; the best group rate was 66.9% higher
    • 23.2% among adults who reported 2 or more races; not significantly different than the best group rate
    • 23.3% among the white non-Hispanic population; the best group rate was 40.8% higher
  • Males aged 18 years and over had a 40.6% higher rate of meeting the current Federal physical activity guidelines than females (25.1% versus 17.9%, age adjusted) in 2015.
  • Among education groups for adults aged 25 years and over, those with advanced degrees had the highest rate of meeting the current Federal physical activity guidelines (31.9%, age adjusted) in 2015. Rates (age adjusted) for individuals in other education groups were:
    • 7.9% among those with less than a high school education; the best group rate was 4 times as high
    • 13.1% among high school graduates; the best group rate was more than twice as high
    • 18.2% among those with some college education; the best group rate was 75.2% higher
    • 20.2% among those with an associate’s degree; the best group rate was 57.6% higher
    • 29.3% among those with a 4-year college degree

Physical Activity by Education: Adults Aged 25 Years and Over, 2014

Physical Activity by Education: Adults Aged 25 Years and Over, 2014

Data source: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), CDC/NCHS.

  • Adults aged 18 years and over without disabilities had a higher rate of meeting the physical activity guidelines than adults with disabilities (23.6% versus 9.6%, age adjusted) in 2015. The rate for adults without disabilities was 2.5 times the rate for persons with disabilities.
  • In 2015, adults aged 18–24 years had the highest rate of meeting the physical activity guidelines, 29.8%, among age groups. Rates for the other age groups were:
    • 25.2% among those aged 25–44 years; the best group rate was 18.3% higher
    • 19.3% among those aged 45–54 years; the best group rate was 54.7% higher
    • 16.9% among those aged 55–64 years; the best group rate was 76.8% higher
    • 15.5% among those aged 65–74 years; the best group rate was 93.0% higher
    • 10.2% among those aged 75–84 years; the best group rate was more than 2.5 times as high
    • 5.1% among those aged 85 years and over; the best group rate was more than 5.5 times as high
  • Adults aged 18–64 years with private health insurance had the highest rate (27.0%, age adjusted) among insurance groups in 2015. Those with public insurance and the uninsured had rates of 13.5% and 16.8% (age adjusted), respectively. The rate for adults with private insurance was twice the rate for those with public insurance and 61.0% higher than the rate for the uninsured.
  • In 2015, adults aged 18 years and over in families with incomes 600% or more of the poverty threshold had the highest rate of physical activity, 33.0% (age adjusted). Rates (age adjusted) for individuals in other income groups were:
    • 11.8% for those with incomes under the poverty threshold; the best group rate was more than 2.5 times as high
    • 12.2% for those with incomes 100% to 199% of the poverty threshold; the best group rate was more than 2.5 times as high
    • 19.9% for those with incomes 200% to 399% of the poverty threshold; the best group rate was 65.6% times higher
    • 26.1% for those with incomes 400% to 599% of the poverty threshold; the best group rate was 26.4% times higher
  • In 2015, adults aged 18 years and over living in metropolitan areas had a 38.8% higher rate of meeting the physical activity guidelines than those living in non-metropolitan areas (22.3% versus 16.0%, age adjusted).
  • Adults aged 18 years and over born in the U.S. had a 38.3% higher rate of meeting physical activity guidelines than adults born outside the U.S. (22.7% versus 16.4%, age adjusted) in 2015.
  • Among adults aged 18 years and over, never-married persons had the highest rate of meeting physical activity guidelines (22.6%, age adjusted) among groups by marital status in 2015. Rates for widowed, cohabitating, married, and divorced persons were 17.5%, 18.9%, 20.4%, and 21.3% (age adjusted), respectively. The rate for never-married adults was 19.3% higher than that for cohabitating partners and 11.0% higher than that for married persons. The rates for widowed and divorced persons were not significantly different than the best group rate.

Endnotes:

  • All disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data (except those by educational attainment, health insurance status, and age group) are age adjusted to the 2000 standard population using the age groups 18–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–64, and 65 years and over. Data by educational attainment are adjusted using the age groups 25–34, 35–44, 45–64, and 65 years and over. Data by health insurance status are adjusted using the age groups 18–44, 45–54, and 55–64. Data by age group are not age adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are weighted sums of age-specific rates.
  • Data for this measure are available annually and come from the National Health Interview Survey, CDC/NCHS.

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Obesity in Adults (NWS-9)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective NWS-9 tracks the proportion of adults with obesity (BMI ≥ 30).
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2005–2008, the rate of obesity was 33.9% among adults aged 20 years and over (age adjusted).
    • HP2020 Target: 30.5%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • Most Recent: In 2011–2014, the rate of obesity was 36.2% among adults aged 20 years and over (age adjusted).

Adult Obesity by Race/Ethnicity, 2011–2014

Adult Obesity by Race/Ethnicity, 2011–2014

Data source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.

  • Males aged 20 years and over had a lower rate of obesity than females (34.2% versus 38.2%, age adjusted) in 2011–2014.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the Asian non-Hispanic population had the lowest (best) rate of obesity, 11.6% of adults aged 20 years and over (age adjusted) in 2011–2014, whereas the black non-Hispanic, Hispanic, and white non-Hispanic populations had rates of 47.9%, 42.3%, and 34.4% (age adjusted), respectively. The rate for the black non-Hispanic population was more than 4 times the best group rate; the rate for the Hispanic or Latino population was more than 3.5 times the best group rate; and the rate for the white non-Hispanic population was 3 times the best group rate.
  • Adults aged 20 years and over without activity limitations had a lower rate of obesity than adults with activity limitations (34.4% versus 43.7%, age adjusted, in 2011–2014). The rate for adults with activity limitations was 27.0% higher than the rate for persons without activity limitations.
  • Among education groups for adults aged 25 years and over, college graduates or above had the lowest (best) rate of obesity, 27.9% (age adjusted) in 2011–2014, whereas adults with less than a high school education had a rate of 40.4% (age adjusted), high school graduates had a rate of 42.5% (age adjusted), and adults with some college education or an AA degree had a rate of 43.0% (age adjusted). Compared to the best group rate, the rate for adults with less than a high school education was 45.0% higher, the rate for high school graduates was 52.3% higher, and the rate for adults with some college education or an AA degree was 54.3% higher.
  • Adults aged 20 years and over living in families with incomes 500% or more of the poverty threshold had the lowest rate of obesity among family income groups, 27.1% (age adjusted) in 2011–2014. Rates (age adjusted) for individuals in other family income groups were:
    • 39.4% for those with incomes under the poverty threshold; 45.3% higher than the best group rate
    • 42.7% for those with incomes 100% to 199% of the poverty threshold; 57.6% higher than the best group rate
    • 38.4% for those with incomes 200% to 399% of the poverty threshold; 41.9% higher than the best group rate
    • 36.0% for those with incomes 400% to 499% of the poverty threshold; 32.7% higher than the best group rate
  • Adults aged 20 years and over born outside the U.S. had a lower rate of obesity than adults born in the U.S. (28.7% versus 37.9%, age adjusted, in 2011–2014). The rate for adults born in the U.S. was 31.5% higher than the rate for adults born outside the U.S.
  • Among groups by health insurance status for adults aged 20–64 years, those with private health insurance had the lowest rate of obesity, 34.4% (age adjusted) in 2011–2014, whereas adults with public insurance had a rate of 43.4% (age adjusted) and those without insurance had a rate of 37.8% (age adjusted). Compared to the rate for those with private insurance, the rate for those with public health insurance was 26.2% higher and the rate for those without health insurance was 9.9% higher.
  • Adults aged 20–44 years had the lowest rate of obesity, 34.3%, in 2011–2014, among broad age groups. Rates for the other age groups were:
    • 40.3% among adults aged 45–64 years; 17.4% higher than the best group rate 
    • 34.7% among adults aged 65 years and over; not significantly different than the best group rate
  • When further refining the age groups, adults aged 80 years and over had the lowest rate of obesity, 23.1% in 2011–2014. Rates for the other age groups were:
    • 25.3% among adults aged 20–24 years; not significantly different than the best group rate
    • 36.8% among adults aged 25–44 years; 59.0% higher than the best group rate
    • 39.3% among adults aged 45–54 years; 69.8% higher than the best group rate
    • 41.3% among adults aged 55–64 years (highest rate); 78.5% higher than the best group rate
    • 38.6% among adults aged 65–74 years; 67.0% higher than the best group rate
    • 37.7% among adults aged 75–79 years; 63.0% higher than the best group rate

Endnotes:

  • Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data for this measure are available biennially and come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.
  • Data (except those by education status, health insurance coverage, and age group) are age adjusted to the 2000 standard population using the age groups 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80 years and over. Data by education status are adjusted using the age groups 25–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80 years and over. Data by health insurance coverage are adjusted using the age groups 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60–64 years. Data by age group are not age adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are weighted sums of age-specific rates.

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Obesity in Children and Adolescents (NWS-10.4)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective NWS-10.4 tracks the proportion of children and adolescents with obesity (BMI at or above the gender- and age-specific 95th percentile from the CDC Growth Charts).
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2005–2008, the rate of obesity was 16.1% among children and adolescents aged 2–19 years.
    • HP2020 Target: 14.5%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • Most Recent: In 2011–2014, the rate of obesity was 17.0% among children and adolescents aged 2–19 years.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the Asian non-Hispanic population had the lowest (best) rate of obesity, 8.6% of youth aged 2–19 years in 2011–2014, whereas the Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, and white non-Hispanic populations had rates of 21.9%, 19.5%, and 14.7%, respectively. The rate for the Hispanic population was 2.5 times the best group rate; the rate for the black non-Hispanic population was more than twice the best group rate; and the rate for the white non-Hispanic population was 71.0% higher than the best group rate.
  • Youth aged 2–19 years with private health insurance had the lowest rate of obesity, 14.2%. Those with public insurance and the uninsured had rates of 20.3% and 19.3%, respectively. The rate for youth with public insurance was 42.6% higher than the best group rate; the rate for youth without health insurance was 36.0% higher than the best group rate.
  • Youth aged 2–19 years living in families with incomes 400% to 499% of the poverty threshold had the lowest rate of obesity among family income groups, 10.1% in 2011–2014. Rates for individuals in other family income groups were:
    • 19.4% for those with incomes under the poverty threshold; 92.7% higher than the best group rate
    • 20.3% for those with incomes 100% to 199% of the poverty threshold; twice the best group rate
    • 16.4% for those with incomes 200% to 399% of the poverty threshold; 62.4% higher than the best group rate
    • 12.0% for those with incomes 500% or more of the poverty threshold; 18.9% higher than the best group rate

Child and Adolescent Obesity by Family Income, 2011–2014

Child and Adolescent Obesity by Family Income, 2011–2014

Data source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.

Endnotes:

  • Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data for this measure are available biennially and come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.

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Total Vegetable Intake (NWS-15.1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective NWS-15.1 tracks the contribution of total vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2 years and over.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2005–2008, 0.76 cup equivalents of total vegetables per 1,000 calories was the mean daily intake of persons aged 2 years and over (age adjusted).
    • HP2020 Target: 1.16 cup equivalents per 1,000 calories (age adjusted), 90th percentile of usual vegetable intake at baseline.
    • Most Recent: In 2009–2012, 0.77 cup equivalents of total vegetables per 1,000 calories was the mean daily intake of persons aged 2 years and over (age adjusted).
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the Hispanic and the white non-Hispanic populations aged 2 years and over had the highest mean daily vegetable intakes, 0.79 and 0.77 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal (age adjusted), respectively, whereas the black non-Hispanic population had a mean daily vegetable intake of 0.66 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal (age adjusted) in 2009–2012. The intake for the Hispanic population was 20.8% higher than that for the black non-Hispanic population.
  • Females aged 2 years and over had a 16.0% higher mean daily vegetable intake than males (0.83 versus 0.71 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal, age adjusted in 2009–2012).
  • Adults aged 20 years and over without activity limitations had a 14.9% higher mean daily vegetable intake than adults with activity limitations (0.88 versus 0.77 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal, age adjusted, in 2009–2012).
  • Persons aged 51 years and over had the highest mean daily vegetable intake, 0.98 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal (not age adjusted) in 2009–2012, among broad age groups. Intakes for the other age groups were:
    • 0.52 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal among persons aged 2–18 years; the best group rate was 89.7% higher
    • 0.78 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal among persons aged 19–50 years; the best group rate was 26.3% higher

Mean Daily Intake of Total Vegetables by Age, 2009–2012

Mean Daily Intake of Total Vegetables by Age, 2009–2012

Data source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.

  • Among education groups for adults aged 25 years and over, college graduates or above had the highest mean daily vegetable intake, 1.00 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal (age adjusted), whereas adults with less than a high school education, high school education, and some college education or an AA degree had intakes of 0.81, 0.79, and 0.84 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal (age adjusted), respectively. The intake for college graduates was 18.0–25.6% higher than that for other education groups.
  • Persons aged 2 years and over from families with incomes 500% or more of the federal poverty threshold had the highest mean daily vegetable intake, 0.83 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal (age adjusted) in 2009–2012. Intakes for other income groups were:
    • 0.73 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal among persons from families with incomes under the federal poverty threshold; the best group rate was 12.8% higher
    • 0.72 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal among persons from families with incomes 100–199% of the federal poverty threshold; the best group rate was 14.7% higher
    • 0.76 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal among persons from families with incomes 200–399% of the federal poverty threshold
    • 0.82 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal among persons from families with incomes 400–499% of the federal poverty threshold; not significantly different than the best group rate
  • Persons aged 2 years and over born outside the U.S. had an 18.4% higher mean daily vegetable intake than persons born in the U.S. (0.89 versus 0.75 cup eq. per 1,000 kcal, age adjusted) in 2009–2012.

Endnotes:

  • Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data for this measure are available biennially and come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS. Preferably 4 years of data are pooled for analysis when available. Cup equivalents were calculated using the USDA Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED).
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.
  • Data (except those by educational attainment, disability status, health insurance status, and age group) are age adjusted using the age groups 2–5, 6–11, 12–19, 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80 years and over. Data by educational attainment are adjusted using the age groups 25–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80 years and over. Data by disability status are adjusted using the age groups 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80 years and over. Data by health insurance status are adjusting using the age groups 2–3, 4–8, 9–13, 14–18, 19–30, 31–50, and 51–64. Data by age group are not age adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are weighted sums of age-specific rates.

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