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Obesity rates hold steady throughout the USA, except for Arkansas, for the first time in 30 years, says a new study - "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013"1 - from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.The United States no longer has the highest obesity rates in the world. It is now second to Mexico, according to a report by the FAO2 (Food and Agricultural Organization, United Nations). In that report, published in July 2013, Mexico's adult obesity rate of 32.8% was just above America's 31.8%.
According to the "F as in Fat" report, 13 US states have obesity rates above 30%. Highest rates were found in the Midwest, South and among baby boomers.
In forty-one states, obesity rates are 25% or more. Not one state in America has an obesity rate of 20% or less.
Compared to 1980, when obesity rates of 15% or more did not exist, health care authorities say the present prevalence is far too high, despite the recent encouraging news.
See below how obesity has mushroomed in America over the last three decades:
There is clear evidence that the obesity epidemic is losing steam.
Every state except one in 2005 saw obesity rates rise. However, in 2008 rates increased in 37 states, and then 28 states in 2010, and just 16 states in 2011.
Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America's Health, said
"While stable rates of adult obesity may signal prevention efforts are starting to yield some results, the rates remain extremely high. Even if the nation holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers - who are aging into obesity-related illnesses - and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis for the healthcare system and Medicare.
In order to decrease obesity and related costs, we must ensure that policies at every level support healthy choices, and we must focus investments on prevention."
Below are some key findings from the 2013 F as in Fat report:
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs report - Progress in Childhood Obesity3 - published at the beginning of this month, showed that obesity rates among preschool children from low-income households went down in 18 states and one US territory. In South Dakota, New Jersey, Missouri, Georgia, Florida and the US Virgin Islands obesity rates in that age group fell by at least 1%.
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO, said:
"After decades of unrelenting bad news, we're finally seeing signs of progress. In addition to today's news about the steady rates for adults, we've seen childhood obesity rates declining in cities and states that were among the first to adopt a comprehensive approach to obesity prevention. But no one should believe the nation's work is done. We've learned a lot in the last decade about how to prevent obesity. Now it's time to take that knowledge to scale."
Flawed gene may drive 1 in 6 people to become obese - scientists from University College London reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that a defective gene affects the production of a hormone that is linked to feelings of fullness.
People who carry a variant of the gene FTO are more likely to overeat, become obese, and show a preference for high-fat, energy-dense foods.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
1. "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013" (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health report).
2. FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization).
3. "Progress in Childhood Obesity" (CDC Vital Signs report).
Visit our Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness category page for the latest news on this subject.
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