Despite awareness campaigns, Americans have continued to get fatter in the past decade, to the point where almost two in five adults in the United States are now considered obese.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 33.7% of American adults were obese in 2007-2008. This proportion climbed to 39.6% in 2015-2016. Morbid obesity also gained ground in the United States, 7.7% of American adults suffered from morbid obesity in 2015-16, compared to 5.7% a decade earlier.
An adult is considered obese when his Body Mass Index (BMI), calculated from weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, is at least 30. A BMI is qualified as normal if it falls within a range of from 18.5 to 24.9.
Despite these alarming data, the study authors noted that the United States could be on the right track as obesity is growing much less rapidly among young people than among older adults. Indeed, 18.5% of miners suffered from obesity in 2015-2016, up only 1.7%. The prevalence of obesity also fluctuated among 2- to 5-year-olds, from 10.1% in 2007-2008 to 8.4% in 2011-2012, before rising back to 13.9% in 2015-2016. .
By disaggregating data by sex and age group, researchers also noted that obesity has increased more in women. For men, an increase was also observed, but it was not statistically significant. In terms of age, obesity gained more ground among those aged 40 and over than in the 20 to 39 age group, where the increase was not statistically significant.
The United States is not the only country affected by the obesity scourge. The rise of obesity can be seen on a global scale, without distinction of wealth or poverty. In 2016, the WHO counts in the world, 1.9 billion overweight adults and 650 million of which defined as “obese”. Since 1980, the number of cases of obesity has doubled.
Obesity and overweight are characterized by an abnormal or excessive accumulation of adipose tissue (containing fat) that can be a health hazard. Obesity, far from being just an aesthetic issue, greatly increases the risk of developing certain diseases.
The researchers analyzed data from 16,875 young people and 27,449 adults in this study published on Friday.