Obesity: America lightens up, but just a little

October 7, 2011

The percentage of Americans who are overweight or obese fell slightly in the third quarter of this year, but they still make up a majority of the population, a Gallup poll showed Friday.

Some 36.6 percent were a normal weight, up a percentage point from a year earlier, while 35.8 percent were overweight, down from 36.0 percent, and 25.8 percent were obese, down from 26.6 percent.

, the middle-aged and those earning less than $36,000 a year remained most likely to be obese -- but even in those categories, said Gallup in a statement, the trend was either stable or declining.

"Although the majority of Americans are still overweight or obese, it is an encouraging sign that are trending downward in the US and among demographic subgroups," the pollsters said.

Gallup based its findings on random telephone calls to 90,070 adult in the three months to September 30. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus a percentage point.

It defined obese as someone with a of 30 or more, overweight as 25 to 29.9 and normal as 18.5 to 24.9.

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