Context: Obesity and diabetes are increasing in the United States.
Objective: To estimate the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among US adults in 2001.
Design, setting, and participants: Random-digit telephone survey of 195 005 adults aged 18 years or older residing in all states participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2001.
Main outcome measures: Body mass index, based on self-reported weight and height and self-reported diabetes.
Results: In 2001 the prevalence of obesity (BMI > or =30) was 20.9% vs 19.8% in 2000, an increase of 5.6%. The prevalence of diabetes increased to 7.9% vs 7.3% in 2000, an increase of 8.2%. The prevalence of BMI of 40 or higher in 2001 was 2.3%. Overweight and obesity were significantly associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis, and poor health status. Compared with adults with normal weight, adults with a BMI of 40 or higher had an odds ratio (OR) of 7.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.39-8.50) for diagnosed diabetes, 6.38 (95% CI, 5.67-7.17) for high blood pressure, 1.88 (95% CI,1.67-2.13) for high cholesterol levels, 2.72 (95% CI, 2.38-3.12) for asthma, 4.41 (95% CI, 3.91-4.97) for arthritis, and 4.19 (95% CI, 3.68-4.76) for fair or poor health.
Conclusions: Increases in obesity and diabetes among US adults continue in both sexes, all ages, all races, all educational levels, and all smoking levels. Obesity is strongly associated with several major health risk factors.