Obesity Decreases — Slightly — in 2011

According to Gallup, which has tracked Americans’ weight status since 2008, slightly fewer American adults were obese in 2011 than in the previous two years, while the number reporting a normal weight grew.

In 2011, 26.1 percent of American adults were obese, compared to 26.6 percent in 2010 and 26.5 percent in 2009. At the same time, while 35.4 percent reported a normal weight in 2010, that number rose to 36.1 percent last year.

Gallup reports that this slight drop is “…a positive reversal of what was previously a
negative trend. The cost of obesity is so high that even this small improvement
has the potential to save the American economy a significant amount of money.”

(I’d like to also call out the impact such a change will have on Americans’ lives. We all know by now that obesity and overweight can lead to an assortment of chronic health complaints.)

Unfortunately, the numbers are still much higher than they should be, with more than a quarter of American adults tipping the scales toward obesity.

At this time of year, Americans are visiting health clubs and hitting the streets in jogging/walking shoes in large numbers, seeking to tackle New Years’ resolutions to finally get fit.

Keeping them coming back for more once the newness of those resolutions wears off is the challenge.

Here’s to a new year, and hopefully a further rise in healthy-weight people who have learned that being more active and eating healthier are the keys, not only to a healthier weight, but also to a healthier life.

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