Obesity in America: By the Numbers

BY Joey Chou and Jason Kane  May 8, 2012 at 5:31 PM EDT

Collectively, the numbers spell out a familiar story. American adults are expanding by the year, along with their children and health care costs. Depressing? Yes. Easy to tune out? Even more so.

In isolation, the statistics are a little more difficult to ignore. And this month, a consortium of the nation’s top health organizations are driving them home through a CDC conference, an IOM report and an HBO documentary series, “The Weight of the Nation.”

Here’s your cheat sheet to some of the most startling stats.

Too specific? If bigger-picture ideas speak to you more, click the map below to watch a tidal wave of weight gain sweep across the nation between 1995 and 2010.

On Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour, Ray Suarez examines the economic impact of the obesity epidemic. Online, he speaks with John Hoffman, the producer of the HBO series, “Weight of the Nation.”

Infographic by Joey Chou. Interactive map by Justin Myers.