Monday, April 10, 2006

The Growing Obesity Problem in America

The Growing Obesity Problem in America
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Obesity is a leading public health concern in the United States, but until recently we didn't know just how bad it really is. The prevalence of overweight children and adolescents in the United States has tripled over the past 22 years, while the incidence of obese adults in America has more than doubled.

Researchers analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2002 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the percentage of overweight adolescents and obese adults. They used the height and weight measurements from 3,958 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 and 4,431 adults ages 20 or older for the analysis. Researchers discovered an increase in overweight female adolescents from 13.8 percent in 1999 to 2000 to 16 percent in 2003 to 2004. The trend was similar with male adolescents, who went from 14 percent in 1999 to 2000 to percent to 18.2 percent in 2003 to 2004.

No significant increase in obesity was observed among women. The prevalence of extreme obesity in men and women, however, increased by 2.8 percent for men and 6.9 percent for women.

Researchers say obesity continues to be a public health concern, especially with body weight continuing to rise in men, children and adolescents.

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SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006; 295:1549-1555

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