Reduce the proportion of adults with obesity — NWS‑03 Data Methodology and Measurement

About the National Data


Baseline: 38.6 percent of adults aged 20 years and over had obesity in 2013-16

Target: 36.0 percent

Number of adults aged 20 years and over with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30.0.
Number of adults aged 20 years and over.
Target-setting method
Minimal statistical significance
Target-setting method justification
Trend data were evaluated for this objective but it was not possible to project a target because the trend was moving away from the desired direction. The standard error was used to calculate a target based on minimal statistical significance assuming the same standard error for the target as for the baseline. This method was used because it was a statistically significant improvement from the baseline.


Methodology notes

The NHANES obtains measured weights in examination gowns and heights without shoes. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.

In 1997, a Consultation on Obesity convened by the World Health Organization recommended standardizing the classification of overweight and obesity. Obesity was defined as a BMI of 30.0 or greater. Further classification of obesity was made as follows: 30.0-34.9 was defined as Class I obesity, 35.0-39.9 as Class II, and 40.0 or greater as Class III. The Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, convened by NIH in 1998 adopted general concepts of the World Health Organization classification system and it has now been endorsed by more than 50 professional medical societies, consumer groups, and government agencies. For this objective, therefore, a BMI cut point of 30.0 was chosen for adults aged 20 years and older.

Pregnant women are excluded from the numerator and denominator.


Comparable HP2020 objective
Retained, which includes core objectives that are continuing from Healthy People 2020 with no change in measurement.