According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a daily assessment of U.S. residents' health and well-being, the percentage of Americans who are at a normal weight is higher than those who are overweight — that's not counting those who are recognized as obese. The study divides participants into three groups: those at a normal weight, those overweight and those who are obese and follows the trends.
The latest index report shows that 36.6 percent of Americans are at a normal weight, 35.8 percent are overweight and 25.8 percent are categorized as obese. The overweight and normal weight trend lines have tracked closely together since Gallup and Healthways started daily monitoring of Americans' weight situation in January 2008. The recent slight decline in the nation's obesity rate is a positive contrast to the rising levels found in 2009 and throughout most of 2010.
Black Americans, the middle-aged, and those with low incomes remain the most likely to be obese across major demographic subgroups in all three quarters of 2011. Although the majority of Americans are still overweight or obese (61.6%), it is an encouraging sign that obesity rates are trending downward in the U.S. and among demographic subgroups. Future monitoring, however, is needed to determine whether this is a temporary trend.