Change in Obesity Prevalence among New York City Adults: the NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2004 and 2013–2014

Pasquale Rummo, Rania Kanchi, Sharon Perlman, Brian Elbel, Chau Trinh-Shevrin, Lorna Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to measure change in obesity prevalence among New York City (NYC) adults from 2004 to 2013–2014 and assess variation across sociodemographic subgroups. We used objectively measured height and weight data from the NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to calculate relative percent change in obesity (≥ 30 kg/m2) between 2004 (n = 1987) and 2013–2014 (n = 1489) among all NYC adults and sociodemographic subgroups. We also examined changes in self-reported proxies for energy imbalance. Estimates were age-standardized and statistical significance was evaluated using two-tailed T tests and multivariable regression (p < 0.05). Between 2004 and 2013–2014, obesity increased from 27.5 to 32.4% (p = 0.01). Prevalence remained stable and high among women (31.2 to 32.8%, p = 0.53), but increased among men (23.4 to 32.0%, p = 0.002), especially among non-Latino White men and men age ≥ 65 years. Black adults had the highest prevalence in 2013–2014 (37.1%) and Asian adults experienced the largest increase (20.1 to 29.2%, p = 0.06), especially Asian women. Foreign-born participants and participants lacking health insurance also had large increases in obesity. We observed increases in eating out and screen time over time and no improvements in physical activity. Our findings show increases in obesity in NYC in the past decade, with important sociodemographic differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-799
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018


  • Diet
  • Disparities
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Surveillance
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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