Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Severely obese are fastest growing group of overweight Americans, study finds

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
RAND Corporation
Summary:
The proportion of Americans who are severely obese -- those people 100 pounds or more overweight -- continues to increase rapidly and much faster than those with moderate obesity, but the rate of growth has slowed, according to a new study.

The proportion of Americans who are severely obese -- those people 100 pounds or more overweight -- continues to increase rapidly and much faster than those with moderate obesity, but the rate of growth has slowed, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Related Articles


The RAND study found that from 2000 to 2010, the proportion of Americans who were severely obese rose from 3.9 percent of the population to 6.6 percent -- an increase of about 70 percent.

The findings mean that more than 15 million adult Americans are morbidly obese with a body mass index of 40 or more. The good news is that beginning in 2005, the near-exponential growth of the severely obese group began to flatten out.

"The proportion of people at the high end of the weight scale continues to increase faster than any other group of obese people, despite increased public attention on the risks of obesity," said Roland Sturm, lead author of the report and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "But for the first time in the past 20 years there is evidence the trend is slowing."

The study suggests that clinically severe obesity, instead of being a rare pathological condition among genetically vulnerable individuals, is an integral part of the population's weight distribution. As the whole population becomes heavier, the extreme category -- the severely obese -- increases the fastest.

The findings were published online by the International Journal of Obesity.

The trend of severe obesity varies by gender and ethnicity, although the trend remained upward among all groups. The prevalence of severe obesity was about 50 percent higher among women than among men, and about twice as high among blacks when compared to Hispanics or whites. For all levels of obesity, the increases over time were faster among age groups younger than 40.

To be classified as severely obese, a person must have a body mass index (a ratio of weight to height) of 40 or higher -- roughly 100 pounds or more overweight for an average adult man. The typical severely obese man weighs 300 pounds at a height of 5 feet 10 inches tall, while the typical severely obese woman weighs 250 pounds at a height of 5 feet 4 inches.

People with a BMI of 25 to 29 are considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or more classifies a person as being obese. For a 5-foot-10 inch male, a BMI of 30 translates into being 35 pounds too heavy.

The body mass index allows researchers to define obesity and severe obesity over a population of people with varied heights and weights. The index is defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. The standard cut-off point for obesity is a body mass index of 30 or more, corresponding to a person 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 174 pounds, or 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 209 pounds or more.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RAND Corporation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R Sturm, A Hattori. Morbid obesity rates continue to rise rapidly in the United States. International Journal of Obesity, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2012.159

Cite This Page:

RAND Corporation. "Severely obese are fastest growing group of overweight Americans, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001132146.htm>.
RAND Corporation. (2012, October 1). Severely obese are fastest growing group of overweight Americans, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001132146.htm
RAND Corporation. "Severely obese are fastest growing group of overweight Americans, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001132146.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins