% of Americans Who Are Overweight Has Dropped During Recession

Weight loss due to the recession - IllustrationSure, the economy is absolutely horrible right now.

The national unemployment rate seems to be permanently stuck above the 9% mark, Europe is on the verge of completely falling apart and the United States seems poised to tip into another recession.

There is not much to cheer about right now.

However, one of the few glimmers of good news to come out of all of this economic malaise - the percentage of Americans who are overweight has dropped since the start of the "Great Recession" in Q1 2008.

According to Gallup.com, a total of 36.8% Americans were considered "overweight" at the start of the "Great Recession" back at the end of 2007/beginning of 2008. In addition, 25.1% of all Americans were considered "obese". Add the two numbers together, and 61.9% of all Americans could have stood to lose at least a few pounds at the start of the "Great Recession". On the other hand, 36.3% of all Americans were considered to be at a healthy and normal weight.

Fast forward to the third quarter of 2011. Years of an economic quagmire have taken their toll on the average American family. Many households are dealing with the loss of at least one paycheck, and many families have had to significantly cut back on their expenses just to make it through to another month. As of that weren't bad enough, food prices have soared thanks to increasing energy prices and other factors.

The bad news? Many American families are suffering. The good news? Less Americans are overweight.

According to Gallup, 36.6% Americans were considered to be a healthy weight as of Q3/2011.

This compares to 35.8% of the population that is now considered "overweight", and 25.8% of the population that is considered obese. Add these two numbers up and 61.6% of the American population is now considered overweight, down 0.3% from Q1 2008.

A 0.3% difference may seem like an insignificant number, but that 0.3% represents nearly 1 million people, which is quite a big change.


According to Gallup.com, Q32011 is the first quarter since the start of the "Great Recession" when the number of "normal weight" Americans was greater than the number of "overweight" Americans.

Source: Gallup.com - More Americans Now Normal Weight Than Overweight

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown

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