Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999-2000.


Trends in the Age-Adjusted and Age-Specific Prevalence of Obesity for Adults Aged 20-74 Years
1960: 13.4% Obese
1970: 14.5%
1980: 15.0%
1990: 23.3
2000: 30.9

TitlePrevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999-2000.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsFlegal KM, Carroll MD, Ogden CL, Johnson CL
JournalJAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association
Date Published2002 Oct 9
KeywordsAdult, Age Distribution, Aged, Body Mass Index, Ethnic Groups, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Nutrition Surveys, Obesity, Prevalence, Sex Distribution, United States

CONTEXT: The prevalence of obesity and overweight increased in the United States between 1978 and 1991. More recent reports have suggested continued increases but are based on self-reported data.

OBJECTIVE: To examine trends and prevalences of overweight (body mass index [BMI] > or = 25) and obesity (BMI > or = 30), using measured height and weight data.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Survey of 4115 adult men and women conducted in 1999 and 2000 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the US population.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Age-adjusted prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity compared with prior surveys, and sex-, age-, and race/ethnicity-specific estimates.

RESULTS: The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 30.5% in 1999-2000 compared with 22.9% in NHANES III (1988-1994; P<.001). The prevalence of overweight also increased during this period from 55.9% to 64.5% (P<.001). Extreme obesity (BMI > or = 40) also increased significantly in the population, from 2.9% to 4.7% (P =.002). Although not all changes were statistically significant, increases occurred for both men and women in all age groups and for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican Americans. Racial/ethnic groups did not differ significantly in the prevalence of obesity or overweight for men. Among women, obesity and overweight prevalences were highest among non-Hispanic black women. More than half of non-Hispanic black women aged 40 years or older were obese and more than 80% were overweight.

CONCLUSIONS: The increases in the prevalences of obesity and overweight previously observed continued in 1999-2000. The potential health benefits from reduction in overweight and obesity are of considerable public health importance.

Alternate JournalJAMA
PubMed ID12365955
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