The United States will not be escaping the obesity epidemic crisis anytime soon: Nearly 40% of adults and 19% of youth are obese, the highest rate the country has ever seen in all adults, according to research released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics.
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As of 2015-2016, about four in 10 U.S. adults were obese, up from 37.7 percent during 2013-2014.
The news for children and teens isn’t much better. Overall, nearly 19 percent were obese in 2015-2016, up from about 17 percent during the previous two years.

The report, released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, shows a trend of increasing obesity among Americans over the past 18 years, with middle-aged adults and some minority women hit the hardest.
Obesity rates were highest for Black and Hispanic women: 55 percent and 51 percent, respectively. By comparison, 38 percent of white women and 15 percent of Asian women were obese. By age, obesity in adults was most common among 40- to 59-year-olds — 43 percent — and least common among 20- to 39-year-olds — 36 percent.
“It is a serious concern because it’s a risk factor for many health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some kinds of cancer,” said Craig M. Hales, M.D., lead author of the report and a medical epidemiologist at the CDC.
“I hope that people think about their own health [and] do their own assessment in terms of where they are in terms of their weight,” Hales said.
Adults with a body mass index — a calculation derived from a person’s height and weight — of 30 or higher are considered obese. For kids, obesity is determined by whether a child’s BMI is at or above the 95th percentile on the CDC’s growth charts.

What is "very striking" about this information is that there has been a 30% increase in adult obesity and 33% increase in youth obesity from 1999-2000 data to 2015-16, despite government-focused efforts to address the issue, according to Michael W. Long, assistant professor at the Milken Institute of School Public Health at George Washington University.
"They haven't done enough," said Long, who was not involved in the new report.

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