The latest CDC report on obesity brings good news, pinpointing a flattening rate of the obesity epidemic, particularly with children and teenagers.
The numbers crunched by the CDC show a slight increase in obesity as far as U.S. adults are concerned. However, according to the researchers working to compile the data, the difference from the previous reporting period is not statistically significant. However, the best news is that with children and teenagers, obesity rates have remained virtually unchanged from the previous reporting period.
Compared to 2003-2004, the obesity rate for U.S. adults has spiked to 37.7 percent from 32.2 percent. The worrisome trend concerns U.S. women, particularly middle-aged women. For the past decade, obesity rates have been leveled almost the same for men and women. However, for the 2013-2014 reporting period, the obesity rate for women has spiked to 38.3 percent. For men, the obesity rate is calculated at 34.3 percent. A decade ago, 33 percent of women were obese. At the same time, 31 percent of men were obese.
For U.S. children and teenagers (age group between 2-19 years old), no differences were noticed in obesity rates when comparing 2003-2004 data to 2011-2014 data. Nonetheless, the authors draw attention that 20 percent of teenagers are obese. In the age group 6-11 years old, 17 percent of children are obese. In addition, the obesity rate for preschoolers is leveled at 9 percent.
While the latest CDC report on obesity brings good news and raises hopes that the efforts invested in fighting the obesity epidemic are fruitful and will continue being so, CDC researchers draw attention on minority groups.
Within the general statistics, minority groups remain vulnerable to obesity and high obesity rates. Non-Hispanic Asian adults have the lowest obesity rate, calculated at 11.7 percent. Non-Hispanic whites amount to 34.5 percent of the obesity overall rate. Hispanics have a prevalence of obesity of 42.5 percent. At the same time, non-Hispanic black adults are 48.1 percent obese.
Within these groups, women make up the largest percentage. For instance, 56.9 percent of non-Hispanic black women are obese. That is a 3.9 percentage points increase from a decade ago.
While the CDC report is overall encouraging, health authorities and health advocates are pointing out that it is not the time to reduce the intensity of efforts to fight the obesity epidemic. Even though the rates are leveling and reaching a flat period, efforts must be sustained in order to achieve a reversal of the worrisome trend.
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