Sunday, September 23, 2012

Obesity Trends

Americans are gaining weight. What else is new? How about this: the percentage of Americans who are overweight but not obese hasn't changed in the past half century according to a government analysis of trends in Body Mass Index (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). What has changed is the percentage of Americans who are obese.

Among Americans aged 20 to 74, the percentage who were overweight but not obese (with a BMI ranging from 25.0 to 29.9) was measured at 31.5 percent in 1960-62 and at a nearly identical 32.7 percent in 2009-10. But, the percentage who were obese (with a BMI of 30.0 or greater) ballooned from just 13.4 percent to fully 36.1 percent during those years. Today, more than one-third of Americans are obese--nearly triple the percentage five decades ago.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity among Adults: United States, Trends 1960-62 through 2009-2010

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