Research: More than Half of Americans are Obese

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New research points to over 50% of America suffering from obesity

Woman lifting obesity

Woman lifting obesity

Central Obesity

Central Obesity

Obesity is a huge problem for America.  I recently took a trip to Walmart, and I saw no fewer than three morbidly obese people riding scooters while they shop.  I see at least one person weekly who is parking in handicap parking and waddling into the grocery store every week.  I know this sounds mean and that is not my intent.  I am only illustrating the problem.  Americans are suffering from an ever exploding waistline.  

The study was published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2017[1].  In this study, data on current BMI and maximum BMI were used to estimate prevalence.  Prevalence was estimated for the period 2013–2014 and trends for the period 1988–2014 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Predictors of lifetime weight status and the association between lifetime weight categories and prevalent disease status were also investigated using multivariable regression.  The results indicate that a total of 50.8% of American males and 51.6% of American females were ever obese by 2014.  The prevalence of lifetime obesity exceeded the prevalence of current obesity by amounts that were greater for males and older persons.  Of note: a total of 22.0% of individuals who were not currently obese had formerly been obese by 2014.  The study also looked at angina, arthritis, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, diabetes, heart attack, liver disease, and stroke prevalence and prevalence was higher among the formerly obese than among the never obese.

The bottom line:  A larger part of the population is affected by obesity and the health consequences of being obese than is suggested in prior studies based.  Weight history should be a part of routine health surveillance of the obesity epidemic for a full accounting of the effects of obesity on the U.S. population.

Footnotes
[1]Stokes, Ni, and Preston, “Prevalence and Trends in Lifetime Obesity in the U.S., 1988–2014.”
Stokes, Andrew, Yu Ni, and Samuel H. Preston. “Prevalence and Trends in Lifetime Obesity in the U.S., 1988–2014.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, September 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.06.008
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About the Author

ChuckH

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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