Obesity has become one of the most costly and significant health conditions in the United States over the last 30 years. During this time, lawmakers and health experts tried hard to reduce the rates and slim down the cases. Recent data shows that in thirty years U.S. obesity rates did not change much, remaining at high levels.
The new data, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that although during three decades the obesity rates in U.S. haven’t changed much, there’s a trend that shows the tendency is stabilizing nationwide. However, there are still spikes among particular demographic groups.
According to many obesity specialists the data are proof enough that all the efforts to address the problem of obesity are working, or at least began to give results. James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, points out that stopping the increase is a very good first step, and thinks of the data as “very positive news”.
“It may suggest our efforts are starting to make a difference. The bad news is we still have obesity rates that are just astronomical”, added James O. Hill.
Historically, during the 1960 through 1980 the obesity rates were not spiking, but the end of the century brought a huge boost. Based on data for 2009 and 2010, available from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese. This means that 78 million people in United States have a body mass index of 30 or greater.
The data shows that a third of adults are overweight. Meanwhile, when it comes to children and teenagers from birth to age 19, 17 percent of them are obese and 32 percent are overweight or obese. Also, severe obesity remains more common in women, despite the fact that more adult men are now overweight or obese.
The problem is that authors “found no indication that the prevalence of obesity is declining in any group”. Cynthia L. Ogden, coauthor and researcher at the CDC, explained that scientists still can’t explain why obesity rates are still on the raise in some groups, while stabilizing in others.