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

s weight by his or her height), he found that 71.1 percent of men and 65.6 percent of women in the 2011-2012 NHANES study sample had BMIs greater than or equal to 25, meaning they were overweight or obese. When he compared these levels to those from 2000, he noticed something interesting.

"Starting from 2000, the increase in the rate of the prevalence of adult obesity is slowing, but the prevalence is still increasing, especially in those with a BMI higher than 35," An said. "If you look at those with a BMI greater than 25 the cutoff point for being overweight this prevalence only increases slightly over the last 12 years. But those with a BMI greater than 40 those who are morbidly obese had the greatest increase in rate compared to the baseline in 2000."

From this data, An believes it is too early to conclude that the prevalence of obesity has begun to level off or even decrease in the United States.

"We can't be naive and underestimate the severity of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Although there is some preliminary evidence about the decline of obesity prevalence among low income preschoolers, that population is unique; we haven't gotten good measures for the entire child or adolescent population," An said. "For the adult population, there are minor declines in the overweight and obesity rate if we compare data from 2012 to that in 2010, but the declines are very small and statistically insignificant. We cannot rule out the hypothesis that the prevalence of obesity follows the same trend as in the last decade."

An suggests scientists continue their close monitoring of the obesity trend in the U.S. so they can find a solution that will decrease the rate of those suffering from this costly health epidemic.

"People are quite creative and there are many proposals being raised for the situation, but nevertheless, we haven't seen any large-scale health policy intervention that is effective in reducing the obesity rate among the population," A
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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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