The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition. The prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased at an average rate of 0.30.8 percentage points across different sociodemographic groups over the past three decades.
Some minority and low socioeconomic status groupssuch as non-Hispanic black women and children, Mexican-American women and children, low socioeconomic status black men and white women and children, Native Americans and Pacific Islandersare disproportionately affected.
The obesity rate in the United States has increased at an alarming rate over the past three decades. We set out to estimate the average annual increase in prevalence as well as the variation between population groups to predict the future situation regarding obesity and overweight among U.S. adults and children, said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Healths Department of International Health. Obesity is a public health crisis.
If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese.
The study authors included 20 journal papers, reports and online data sets in their meta-analysis. In addition, data from four national surveysNHANES, BRFSS, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Healthwere included in order to examine the disparities in obesity.
They defined adult overweight and obesity using body mass index cutoffs of 25 and 30, respectively. Children at risk for overweight and overweight were classified as being in the 85th and 95th percentiles of body mass index, respectively. The key findings include:
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