CDC study: Americans’ bellies are expanding fast
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.