US obe­sity prob­lem is not budg­ing: 40% of adults are obese

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amer­ica’s weight prob­lem isn’t get­ting any bet­ter, ac­cord­ing to new govern­ment re­search.

Over­all, obe­sity fig­ures stayed about the same: About 40 per­cent of adults are obese and 18.5 per­cent of chil­dren. Those num­bers are a slight in­crease from the last re­port but the dif­fer­ence is so small that it could have oc­curred by chance.

Wor­ri­some to ex­perts is the rate for chil­dren and teenagers, which had hov­ered around 17 per­cent for a decade. The 2-to-5 age group had the big­gest rise.

The years ahead will show if that’s a sta­tis­ti­cal blip or marks the start of a real trend, said the re­port’s lead au­thor, Dr. Craig Hales of the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion.

The bad news is that the num­bers didn’t go down, ex­perts say. In re­cent years, state and na­tional health of­fi­cials have fo­cused on obe­sity in kids, who were the tar­get of the na­tional Let’s Move cam­paign launched by for­mer first lady Michelle Obama in 2010. The re­port re­leased Fri­day cov­ers 2015 and 2016. “This is quite dis­ap­point­ing. If we were ex­pect­ing the trends to budge, this is when they would be budg­ing,” said An­drew Stokes, a Bos­ton Univer­sity ex­pert on track­ing obe­sity.

The new fig­ures are from an an­nual govern­ment sur­vey with about 5,000 par­tic­i­pants. The sur­vey is con­sid­ered the gold stan­dard for mea­sur­ing the na­tion’s waist­line, be­cause par­tic­i­pants are put on a scale to ver­ify their weight.

Obe­sity means not merely over­weight, but se­ri­ously over­weight, as de­ter­mined by a cal­cu­la­tion called body mass in­dex . Un­til the early 1980s, only about 1 in 6 adults were obese. The rate climbed dra­mat­i­cally to about 1 in 3 around a decade ago, then seemed to level off for years. More de­tails from the re­port: ▶The 40 per­cent rate for adults is sta­tis­ti­cally about the same as the nearly 38 per­cent in the 2013-2014 sur­vey.

▶By age, the fattest adults are in their 40s and 50s. The obe­sity rate for that age group is 41 per­cent for men and 45 per­cent for women.

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