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It should come as no surprise to hear that the United States is getting more obese and more unhealthy.  The National Center for Health Statistics (a part of the federal government’s Center for Disease Control) recently released data on Americans and obesity.  Spoiler alert: the numbers are not pretty.

By the numbers:

  • In 2015-2016, 39.8% of American adults were considered obese with obese being defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
  • In 2015-2016, 18.5% of American children (ages 2-19) were considered obese.
  • Since 1999, obesity rates have continued to rise.  In 1999, 30.5% of American adults and 13.9% of American children were considered to be obese.
  • American adults aged 40-59 showed the highest obesity rate at 42.8%.
  • 70.7% of American adults are considered to be overweight or obese with “overweight” defined as having a BMI of 26 and above.
  • The 2015-2016 government’s findings are the highest obesity numbers on record in the United States to date.
  • American Latinos and non-Latino blacks showed obesity levels of 47% and 46.8% respectively.
  • American blacks and Latina women showed higher obesity rates than their male counterparts.  Black women showed a 54.8% rate of obesity versus a 36.9% rate for males of the same age.  Latina women came in at 50.6%, while the males in the group were reported at 43.1%.  White adult men and women fared pretty equally.

Where do the numbers come from?

The National Center for Health Statistics’ report was based on figures from a federal government survey that is done every year.  Approximately 5,000 Americans provide data and participate in the survey.  The participants’ weight is verified by researchers by placing them on a scale.  Participants are not allowed to self-report their weight.

Patrick T. Bradshaw told the Los Angeles Times that increased obesity rates “suggest that we haven’t been successful in efforts to reduce or prevent obesity in the population.”  The UC Berkeley population health researcher believes that in order to successfully decrease obesity rates, public campaigns need to focus specific challenges in weight management and that particular attention needs to paid to the Latino and African American demographic.

Medical weight management: If you are concerned about your weight and quality of life, perhaps medical weight management is for you.  GreenLite Medicine will help you lose the weight and reinvent your life.

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