TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- One in three American adults and one in six American children are obese, new government reports show.
That's the bad news. The good news is that over the past 12 years, those rates have remained roughly the same.
"The stabilization of obesity rates has been going on for some time. And, this is not just the U.S. It's happening all over the world," said Katherine Flegal, author of the reports and a senior research scientist with the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Even if we can just keep the prevalence rates the same, we're doing well," said registered dietitian Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives in the Office of Community Health at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y.
"It's as if you're on an expressway going 65 miles per hour. You can't suddenly throw the car in reverse. You have to slow down before you can reverse course. Hopefully, what we're doing now is slowing down so we can reverse course," Copperman said.
The reports on the obesity trends -- one on adults and one on children and teens -- are published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Flegal is the lead author of the study on obesity in adults, and the senior author on the study on obesity in children and adolescents.
The consequences of obesity are far-reaching. People who are obese are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, high cholesterol, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and gynecological problems, according to the CDC.
The estimated medical costs of caring for the obese average about $147 billion a year, the CDC estimates.
In the current study of obesity trends in adults, Flegal and her colleagues reviewed data from
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