The increase in overweight and obesity is a worldwide health problem. The first wave of the "German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults" (DEGS1), conducted from 2008 through 2011, provides current data about overweight and obesity among adults in Germany. Within DEGS1, a representative sample of the 18- to 79-year-old population was interviewed with regard to health relevant issues and physically examined (n = 7,116). From measurements of body height and weight, the body mass index (BMI) was calculated, which was used to define overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2)) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). Results are stratified for gender, age group, socioeconomic status and region and compared with results from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98) and the National Examination Surveys 1990/92. According to DEGS1, 67.1% of men and 53.0% of women are overweight. The prevalence of overweight has not changed compared to GNHIES98. The prevalence of obesity, however, has risen substantially, especially among men: in GNHIES98, 18.9% of men and 22.5% of women were obese, in DEGS1, these figures were 23.3% and 23.9%, respectively. The increase in obesity occurred especially among young adults. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as supplemental.