Obesity Rates Climb, Hit Genders and Races Differently

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Just as we loosen our belts for all those holiday meals and treats, the federal government releases its most recent data on obesity rates. And the numbers are not good.

Just in time for the food-filled holidays, the federal government has released its most recent national data on obesity rates.

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that obesity has increased among adults, with 37.7 percent classified as obese in 2013-2014. That is up from 34.9 percent in 2011-2012.

The CDC classifies adults as obese if their body mass index (BMI) score is 30 or higher. BMI scores are a measure of weight that also takes height into consideration. (You can use the CDC’s free online BMI calculator to determine your BMI score.)

Although the increase in obesity rates is not considered statistically significant, the New York Times reports that it’s still cause for concern among some experts.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, tells the newspaper:

“The trend is very unfortunate and very disappointing. Everybody was hoping that with the decline in sugar and soda consumption, that we’d start seeing a leveling off of adult obesity.”

When broken down by gender, race and age, the numbers show that obesity rates are higher for certain subpopulations. Researchers used four years of data to measure these groups in order to get more reliable results, according to the Times.

By gender and race

Overall, 38.3 percent of women and 34.3 percent of men were considered obese during the years from 2011 through 2014,

Broken down by race, the numbers were:

  • Black women: 56.9 percent considered obese
  • Black men: 37.5 percent
  • Hispanic women: 45.7 percent
  • Hispanic men: 39 percent
  • White women: 35.5 percent
  • White men: 33.6 percent
  • Asian women: 11.9 percent
  • Asian men: 11.2 percent

By age

From 2011 through 2014, middle-aged Americans had the highest obesity rate:

  • Ages 40 to 59: 40.2 percent were considered obese
  • Ages 60 and older: 37 percent
  • Ages 20 to 39: 32.3 percent

Are you surprised by the obesity rates of any particular group, or that obesity rates have continued to climb overall? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

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