The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest obesity statistics. The bottom line is that the number of overweight Americans seems to be “leveling off.” This does not mean obesity is over, far from it. It’s just the growth rate of the obesity epidemic seems to have substantially slowed down. And that’s good. Sort of.
Because how can it be “good” when the data is this:
- 34% of American adults age 20 and older are obese
- 68% were considered overweight or obese
- 31.7% of kids are obese or overweight
The numbers are from the National Center for Health Statistics, a unit of CDC.
The highest obesity growth rates occurred throughout the 80′s and 90′s. In the last decade the growth has slowed.
Though the Food industry may rejoice in these findings as proof that their “health foods” are helping consumers, there may be other explanations:
“Until we see rates improving, not just staying the same, we can’t have any confidence that our lifestyle has improved,” said Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Dr. Ludwig said the plateau might just suggest that “we’ve reached a biological limit” to how obese people could get. When people eat more, he said, at first they gain weight; then a growing share of the calories go “into maintaining and moving around that excess tissue,” he continued, so that “a population doesn’t keep getting heavier and heavier indefinitely.”
Furthermore, Dr. Ludwig said, “it could be that most of the people who are genetically susceptible, or susceptible for psychological or behavioral reasons, have already become obese.” read entire New York Times article...
Whatever the reason is, we still have a ginormous task ahead of us. Obesity is a disease that shortens lives, can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and an assortment of other medical conditions. It eats up almost 10% of medical spending in this country – a whopping $147 Billion in 2008!