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New evidence shows increase in obesity may be slowing, but not by much
Date:2/5/2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama referred to an August 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that showed a decline in the obesity rate among low-income pre-school children, saying, "Michelle's Let's Move! partnership with schools, businesses and local leaders has helped bring down childhood obesity rates for the first time in 30 years, and that's an achievement that will improve lives and reduce health care costs for decades to come."

While the CDC report's data is encouraging, a new study published by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An shows the notion that the American obesity epidemic has begun to reverse may be premature.

The study appears in the journal ISRN Obesity.

An said that when the CDC released the report showing declines in obesity among low-income preschool children in 19 of 43 states, it "immediately received a tremendous amount of media attention."

"Because people have been fighting the obesity epidemic since the 1980s, this data really looked like a promising sign," An said. "This triggered my research because I was curious as to whether a similar trend is happening in the adult population."

An turned to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to gather his data. The CDC conducts this nationally representative survey of 5,000 people 20 years of age and older each year, visiting residential areas in a mobile test center. Researchers and physicians examine the participants, collecting objective data such as their height and weight, as well as other health-related statistics.

When An examined the Body Mass Index measurements (or BMI, calculated by dividing a person'
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Contact: Chelsey B. Coombs
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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