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CDC: Obesity Rates Steady Over Past Decade

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Obesity rates in the United States have remained steady over the past decade, according to a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The report released this week found one in three adults and one in six children and teens are obese, with upwards changes in certain demographics. Though those numbers seem high, its far lower than double digit increases in previous decades.

Dr. Katherine M. Flegal, Dr. Cynthia L. Ogden, and their colleagues, along with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, studied data from 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), in order to find rates of obesity in the U.S., which is defined as a body mass index (BMI), of 30 or higher.

Rates of obesity were then compared with data from 1999-2008. NHANES includes measured heights and weights for 5,926 adult men and women from a nationally representative sample of the U.S. Population in 2009-2010 and for 22,847 men and women in 1999 through 2008.

In 2009 to 2010, the age-adjusted average BMI was 28.7 for both men and women. Scientist discovered that the age-adjusted obesity prevalence was 35.7 percent. Among men, the rate was 35.5 percent, and within race/ethnicity groups, rates ranges from 36.2 percent among non-Hispanic white men to 38.8 percent among non-Hispanic black men. There were less significant increases in obesity for men during the period of 1999 to 2000 through 2009 to 2010.

Women had a prevalence of obesity of 35.8 percent, and the scale was from 32.2 percent among non-Hispanic white women to 58.5 percent among non-Hispanic black women.

From 1999 through 2010, obesity showed no significant increase among women overall, but increases were found for non-Hispanic black women and Mexican American women. For both men and women, the most recent two years (2009-2010) did not change with any significance from the previous six years (2003-2008).

The age-adjusted prevalence of overweight and obesity combined (BMI 25 or greater) was 68.8 percent overall, 73.9 percent among men, and 63.7 percent among women.

“Obesity prevalence shows little change over the past 12 years, although the data are consistent with the possibility of slight increases,” the authors concluded.

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