After a quarter century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years but levels are still high – at 34 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report, “Obesity Among Adults in the U.S.: No Significant Change in 2005-06,” is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
Obesity rates have increased over the past 25 years. Among men, there was an increase in obesity prevalence between 1999 and 2006. However, there was no significant change in obesity prevalence between 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 for either men or women.
“Since 1999, there appears to have been a leveling off in obesity among women, but the trend is less clear among men. We do know however that the gap between men and women has narrowed in recent years, with men catching up to the higher rates among women,” said Cynthia Ogden, a CDC researcher and lead author of the study.
Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person′s weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
The study found:
“In view of these alarmingly high rates of obesity in all population groups, CDC has made the prevention of obesity one of its top public health priorities,” said Janet Collins, director of CDC′s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We are actively working in partnership with state and local public health agencies, the nation′s schools, community organizations, businesses, medical systems and faith communities to promote and support healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight.”
The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs.
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