The good news: the proportion of adult Americans who are obese appears to have leveled off. The bad news: obesity is still extremely high, with nearly a third of adults--78 million--and close to 17 percent of children--12 million--being obese.
A government initiative, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, released data this week showing that there was no change in the prevalence of obesity among adults or children from 2007–2008 to 2009–2010. The obese suffer from an increased risk of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and more.
The government-defined standard for obesity in adults is body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30. The definition of obesity for children for this study was defined as a BMI greater than or equal to the age- and sex-specific 95th percentiles of the 2000 CDC growth charts. BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, rounded to one decimal place.
Other findings included that obesity prevalence did not differ between men and women and that adults aged 60 and older were more likely to be obese than younger adults.
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