CDC study: Americans’ bel­lies are ex­pand­ing fast

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

CHICAGO (AP) — The num­ber of Amer­i­can men and women with big-bel­lied, ap­ple-shaped fig­ures — the most dan­ger­ous kind of obe­sity — has climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment study.

Peo­ple whose fat has set­tled mostly around their waist­lines in­stead of in their hips, thighs, but­tocks or all over are known to run a higher risk of heart dis­ease, di­a­betes and other obe­sity-re­lated ail­ments.

Fifty-four per­cent of U.S. adults have ab­dom­i­nal obe­sity, up from 46 per­cent in 1999-2000, re­searchers re­ported in Wed­nes­day’s Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion. Ab­dom­i­nal obe­sity is de­fined as a waist­line of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men.

Dur­ing the 12-year pe­riod stud­ied, the av­er­age waist size in the U.S. ex­panded to 38 inches for women, a gain of 2 inches. It grew to 40 inches for men, a 1-inch in­crease.

“The in­crease is a con­cern. There’s no ques­tion about that,” said Dr. Wil­liam Dietz, an obe­sity ex­pert for­merly with the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion, now at George Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity.

The ex­pan­sion in waist­lines came even as the over­all level of obe­sity — as de­fined not by waist size but by body mass in­dex, of BMI, a weight-to-height ra­tio — held fairly steady.

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