Obesity rates have grown even more alarming in the United States, a study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown.
The report, published on Wednesday, November 11, have revealed that at present a staggering percentage of 38% of all adults now qualify as obese, having a body mass index of 30 and upwards. In contrast, a decade earlier, around 32% of the adult population of the United States was affected by obesity.
The findings, collected after analyzing a population sample of approximately 5,000 individuals between 2013 and 2014, are at the same time surprising and alarming. That is because they show an upward trend in this condition, despite the fact that it had been previously believed that obesity rates have been stabilizing.
More than 3 decades ago, approximately 1 in 6 adult Americans could be classified as obese, but afterwards the prevalence of this disorder grew, affecting 1 in 3 adults.
Numerous measures have been taken by federal, state and local governments in order to address the obesity epidemic, which is linked to higher rates of chronic diseases, such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, heart failure and dementia.
For example, restaurants have been placed under the obligation to ban hydrogenated fats, and to display calorie counts corresponding to each menu item.
Certain fast food companies have actually been forthcoming, by introducing menu options for more health-conscious customers. Indeed certain individuals have given up harmful eating habits, which was evidenced by the fact that soda consumption is no longer as popular as before.
However, not all dining establishments have obeyed newly imposed rules, and efforts have been even hindered at times by some policymakers. One such instance was encountered in June, when Sid Miller, Texas Agricultural Commissioner, lifted a decade-long ban which had been placed on soda machines and deep fryers.
The only saving grace identified by the report is that obesity among children aged 2 to 5 has become less prevalent than before: in 2000, around 14% of all toddlers were obese, whereas nowadays the percentage is somewhere around 9%.
Moreover, for Americans under the age of 20, obesity rates have remained at a standstill, corresponding to around 17%.
On the other hand the rest of the population is blighted by much higher levels of excess weight: obesity affects 40% of middle-aged people, 37% of senior citizens, and 32% of younger adults.
The study has also revealed that obesity is encountered among 38% of all female Americans, and 34% of males, which is a recent trend, given that previously a similar number of men and women could be considered obese.
According to Dr. Cynthia Ogden, study lead author, this wider presence of obesity among female adults is due to the fact that among Hispanic and African-American women this medical condition has been spinning out of control.
Hispanic women have a 46% likelihood of suffering from obesity, in contrast with 39% of men. Among African-Americans, the gender gap is even wider: 57% of women are obese, while 38% of their male counterparts have such unsettling BMIs.
However, these new results have been called into question, by various researchers, such as Dr. Barry Popkin, at the University of North Carolina. According to him, the sample included in the survey is too small in comparison with others from prior studies, and therefore can’t be considered nationally representative.
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