CDC: Americans continue to grow fatter and fatter

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Sunday, April 9, 2006

ATLANTA - About one-third of U.S. children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, and two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to a CDC study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers examined data from 3,958 children and adolescents ages two to 19, and 4,431 adults ages 20 and older, as well data from the CDC's annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study found that obesity rates increased among children and men from the 1999-2000 period to the 2003-2004 period, but rates were steady for women over the same time.

"Nothing has substantially happened, other than the fact that we've given a lot of lip service to the problem," said William Klish, a pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital and professor at Baylor University. "We still haven't convinced the average American that obesity is a disease. It's still viewed as a cosmetic problem."

Additional findings show:

* In all, about 25 million U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or nearly overweight, and 136 million U.S. adults are overweight or obese.

* 33.6% of children and adolescents were overweight or nearly overweight in 2003-2004, compared with 28.2% in 1999-2000.

* About 67% of men were overweight in 1999-2000, compared with about 71% of men in 2003-2004. About 62% of women were overweight in both 1999-2000 and 2003-2004.

* About 27.5% of men were obese in 1999-2000, compared with about 31% of men in 2003-2004. About 33% of women were obese in both 1999-2000 and 2003-2004.

* The percentage of overweight girls increased from 13.8% in 1999-2000 to 16% in 2003-2004. The percentage of overweight boys increased from 14% to 18.2%.

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