CDC Study Finds ‘Disturbingly High’ U.S. Obesity Rates

Despite government-led efforts to reduce the American obesity rate to 15% by 2010, a study published earlier this month in the International Journal of Obesity has found the actual percentage of obese adults in the U.S. are on the rise.

In fact, the study, which was written by officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that obesity rates among adults have risen from 13% in the early 1960s, to more than 30% in 1999, to 32% in men and 35% in women by 2007-2008. Those most recent figures are an increase of 5% in males and 2% in females from a previous study in 1999-2000.

Likewise, abdominal obesity–which, according to Reuters Health is defined as having a waistline of 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men–is on the rise. The male abdominal obesity rate increased from 39% in 1999-2000 to 44% in 2007-2008, while the female rates jumped from 56% to 62% over that same span, the news organization reported on Tuesday.

“The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity remains disturbingly high among adults in the United States, and our trend analysis shows that both may still be increasing among men,” Dr. Earl S. Ford of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and his colleagues wrote in the study, according to Reuters Health.

The CDC study analyzed the medical data of more than 23,000 adults of at least 20 years of age.

“The rising tide of obesity ‘has all but ruled out’ the chances that the U.S. will meet its”¦ 2010 goals,” Reuters Health said in their report. “In order to whittle U.S. obesity rates down to 15 percent, Ford and his team say, the average American would either need to consume 500 fewer calories a day, walk for nearly two additional hours a day, or burn off the equivalent amount of calories doing some other type of physical activity.”

According to the CDC website, obesity ranges are determined using the body mass index (BMI) scale, which is calculated by using height and weight. The CDC considers a person who has a BMI of 25 to 29.9 to be overweight, while adults with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered clinically obese.

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