U.S. Obesity Prevalence Still High


CHICAGO—There has not been significant change in the prevalence of obesity in the United States with data from 2009-2010 indicating that about one in three adults and one in six children and teens are obese; however, there have been increases in certain demographics, according to two studies being published online by JAMA.

Katherine M. Flegal, PhD, Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, MRP, and colleagues with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Md., analyzed data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine rates of obesity in the United States.

In the analysis for prevalence among adults, rates of obesity (defined as a body mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater) were 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 1999-2008.

In 2009-2010, the age-adjusted average BMI was 28.7 for men and women. The researchers found that overall, the age-adjusted obesity prevalence was 35.7 percent. Among men, the prevalence was 35.5 percent, and within race/ethnicity groups, prevalence ranged from 36.2 percent among non-Hispanic white men to 38.8 percent among non-Hispanic black men. There were significant increases in obesity for men over the period 1999-2000 through 2009-2010.

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