Obesity rates in U.S. stall, still high

After over 20 years of a steady rise, obesity rates in the U.S. appear to be holding steady, having only increased “slightly” overall since 2005, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Going over the data, researchers found that in 2009 and 2010, the prevalence of obesity in adult men was 35.5%, and 35.8% among adult women. When compared to data from 1999 and 2000, researchers found that the increase in obesity rates only increased by around 1%.

“I’m not very surprised, but I think this is a kind of encouraging finding, given all the efforts we have been making,” Dr. Youfa Wang, head of the Johns Hopkins Global Center for Childhood Obesity in Baltimore, told Reuters Health. Wang was not involved in the study.

“The general public for sure nowadays has become more aware of the health consequences of obesity, and industry has been heavily influenced by all the efforts,” Wang said.

It’s certainly good news that obesity rates in the U.S. aren’t seeing a significant increase, but Dr. David Ludwig, director of the childhood obesity program at Children’s Hospital in Boston, points out to the LA Times that the fight is hardly over.

“We’re by no means through the epidemic,’’ he said. “Children will be entering adulthood heavier than they’ve ever been at any time in human history. Even without further increases in prevalence, the impact of the epidemic will continue to mount for many years to come.’’

Source: JAMA