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Obesity Rate Is Slowing

WASHINGTON, DC -- The obesity rate for U.S. adults slowed in 2007-2008, according to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, America still has a high obesity rate, according to the study, which will be published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The findings came from analysis of height and weight measurements from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 5,555 U.S. men and women from 2007 to 2008. These measurements were compared with measurements from 1999 to 2006.

According to the study, “The increases in the prevalence of obesity previously observed do not appear to be continuing at the same rate over the past 10 years, particularly for women and possibly for men.”

For 2007 to 2008, the obesity rate (defined as those with a BMI of 30 or greater) was 33.8 percent overall. For men, the rate was 32.2 percent, and for women it was 35.5 percent.

For the combined overweight and obese category, the study found that 68 percent of the adult population was overweight (BMI of 25 or greater) or obese, with 72.3 percent of men fitting in this category and 64.1 percent of women.

From 1988 to 1994, the rate of obesity increased 8 percentage points compared with 1976 to 1980. However, from 1999 to 2008, the study found no significant increase in obesity among women. During the same time period, men did have a significant increase in obesity, rising from 27.5 percent to 32 percent, but that rate has not changed between 2003 and 2008, according to the study.

Despite the slowing obesity rates, one-third of the U.S. population is still obese.

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