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Weight Loss

8 min read

Weight loss statistics: What you need to know in 2024

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Apr 24, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

If you’re interested in the latest trends, success rates, and analysis of weight loss statistics, you’ve landed in the right place. This blog gives you an overview of the current weight loss landscape and what you need to know to make informed decisions about your health and weight loss strategies.

We explore the annual number of Americans who want to lose weight. We also break down the strategies and outcomes associated with weight loss to give you a transparent look at what works, what doesn’t, and the common hurdles individuals face. 

Is weight loss medication right for you? Find a provider and find out.

Whether you’re a healthcare professional, a fitness enthusiast, or someone on the path to better health, this data provides powerful insight into why people are trying to lose weight in the U.S.

When you’re done learning these valuable weight loss statistics, find a provider on Klarity who’s experienced in weight loss treatment and ready to help you achieve your goals.

How many Americans are overweight?

Nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. (30.7%) are classified as overweight, and over two-fifths (41.9%) are considered to have obesity in 2017– March 2020. These classifications are based on body mass index (BMI) measurements, with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicating overweight status and a BMI of 30 or higher signifying obesity. 

What gender is most overweight?

When examining obesity rates by gender, data reveals that 34.1% of men are overweight compared to 27.5% of women. However, severe obesity is more common among women, with 11.5% affected versus 6.9% of men. This suggests that while men are slightly more likely to be overweight, women have a higher likelihood of severe obesity, per BMI standards.

How many Americans try to lose weight each year?

Between 2013 and 2016, the U.S. population was about 320 million, and 49.1% of U.S. adults tried to lose weight in the preceding 12 months. This statistic underscores a significant interest in weight loss across the U.S. population, reflecting widespread health and wellness concerns.

What age group is the most overweight?

In examining obesity across different age groups, middle-aged adults (aged 40 to 59) have the highest rate of obesity at 44.3%. This is closely followed by older adults (aged 60 and older) at 41.5% and younger adults (aged 20 to 39) at 39.8%.

What age group is most likely to try to lose weight?

The number of people trying to lose weight varies by age, with 49.7% of young adults aged 20 to 39 and 52.4% of middle-aged adults aged 40 to 59 trying to lose weight. In contrast, 42.7% of older adults aged 60 and over tried to lose weight, meaning younger and middle-aged populations are trying to lose weight more. 

Are men or women more likely to try to lose weight?

A notable gender difference exists when it comes to trying to lose weight, with 56.4% of women attempting to lose weight compared to 41.7% of men. This difference is consistent across all age groups and races, highlighting a higher tendencyamong women to try and lose weight.

What are the most common ways people try to lose weight?

The most common self-reported way to try and lose weight is a combination of diet and exercise. A majority, 62.9%, used exercise and reduced food intake as their primary strategy. 

The next most popular way to lose weight is eating more fruits, vegetables, and salads, which was the chosen way for 50.4% of respondents. Other methods include increasing water consumption (44.7%) and reducing junk or fast food intake (42.4%).   

This data underscores the trend of combining multiple weight loss strategies, with a significant 88.3% of participants reporting they use 2 or more methods to lose weight.

In a study done in July 2023 about new prescription weight loss medications, nearly half of the adults (45%) expressed wanting to use safe and effective prescription drugs for weight loss. That willingness went up to 59% among those currently trying to lose weight. However, enthusiasm dropped from 23 and 16%, respectively, for routine weight loss injections and medications not covered by insurance.

How likely is it to regain weight after weight loss?

Regaining weight after losing it is common. Studies show that people regain more than half of the weight they in 2 years. By 5 years, they regain more than 80% of the weight.²

The data suggests that keeping weight off is a constant struggle, requiring sustained behavioral changes and long-term strategies beyond initial weight loss interventions.

Get help with weight loss from a provider on Klarity

Find a provider on Klarity today for losing weight and keeping it off. 


  1. M.R.P. National Center for Health Statistics. “Attempts to Lose Weight Among Adults in the United States, 2013–2016.” Crescent B. Martin, M.P.H., M.A., Kirsten A. Herrick, Ph.D., M.Sc., Neda Sarafrazi, Ph.D., and Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D. July 2018.
  2. National Library of Medicine. “Maintenance of lost weight and long-term management of obesity.” Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D. and Scott Kahan, M.D., MPH. January 2018.
  3. KFF. “KFF Health Tracking Poll July 2023: The Public’s Views Of New Prescription Weight Loss Drugs And Prescription Drug Costs.” Alex Montero, Grace Sparks, Ashley Kirzinger, Isabelle Valdes, and Liz Hamel. Aug. 4, 2023.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Adult Obesity Facts.” May 17, 2022.
  5. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” September 2021.

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