By On November 29th, 2007

National BMI maxed out

It looks as though the Nation’s BMI has gotten as bad as it can get. According to findings reported by Cynthia Ogden, Ph.D., of CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, there has been a growing epidemic of obesity in American over the last several decades but it appears to be leveling off.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey found nothing more than a slight increase, an increase that was not statistically significant, between a 2005-2006 census and a census taken from 2003 to 2004. This information is contradictory to the popular opinion that there is a growing epidemic of obesity in America. The following is a segment of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the study:

As an epidemiologist, Dr. Ogden said, she could not explain the trend.

Although the findings contradict popular accounts of a growing epidemic of obesity. Dr. Ogden said she was confident that her study reflects the reality of the prevalence.

NHANES provides measured weights and heights in large numbers of people, she said, whereas many other data sets are based on subjects’ self-reports, she noted.

Her group’s report, released by CDC as a data brief, noted that obesity rates remain very high, at about 34% in 2005-2006 for men and women combined. In 1980, some 15% of adults were obese.

In 2003-2004, 33.2% of women and 31.1% of men were obese. In 2005-2006, obesity prevalence was 35.3% for women and 33.2% for men, she reported. The increases were not significant.

NHANES physically examines and administers questionnaires to some 2,500 people of all ages each year.

Dr. Ogden said that not only has obesity prevalence increased in the past 30 years, but so has the number of extremely obese people. According to NHANES data, people with a BMI greater than 40 were almost nonexistent in 1980. Several percent of the population had passed that threshold in 2005-2006.

Click here to read the entire article from Medpage Today

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