Prevalence of Obesity Unchanged in Adults/Children

Rates of adult and childhood obesity remain high in the United States

TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obesity in adults and children/adolescents in the United States has remained unchanged in recent years, according to two studies published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Katherine M. Flegal, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to estimate the prevalence of adult obesity among 5,926 adults in the United States from 2009 to 2010, and compared the results with data from 22,847 adults in 1999 to 2008. In 2009 to 2010, the age-adjusted mean body mass index (BMI) was 28.7 kg/m² for both men and women. The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 35.5 percent for men and 35.8 percent for women. From 1999 to 2010, there were significant increases in obesity for non-Hispanic black women and Mexican-American women, but no significant increase for women overall. For men, however, there was a significant linear trend (age- and race-adjusted annual change in odds ratio, 1.04; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.06; P < 0.001). For men and women, there was no significant difference in prevalence of obesity or distribution of BMI for 2009 to 2010 compared with the previous six years.

Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D., also from the CDC, and colleagues used NHANES data to estimate obesity prevalence for 2009 to 2010, and trends in obesity prevalence and BMI from 1999 to 2010, among U.S. children and adolescents. In 2009 to 2010, 16.9 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years were obese; no difference in obesity prevalence was observed between 2007 to 2008 and 2009 to 2010 for boys or girls. For boys, but not girls, there was a significant increase in obesity prevalence over the 12-year study period.

"The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States remains unchanged at approximately 17 percent, although increases in obesity prevalence may be occurring among males," Ogden and colleagues write.

Abstract - Flegal
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Abstract - Ogden
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