- Despite major funding, research, and health programs to shrink the national waistline, obesity remains a significant issue in the U.S., a new study in JAMA concluded.
- Looking at national trends in obesity, the researchers found by 2014, 40% of women, 35% of men and 17% of children and adolescents were obese. Further, roughly 10% of women and 5% of men were morbidly obese.
- Interestingly, the study in adults showed while obesity among women increased over the past decade, it remained about the same among men.
The change among women could not be explained by age, race, education or smoking status, and the authors noted, “there are few data to indicate reasons that these trends might accelerate, slow, or stop.” Further research is needed, the researchers, all from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, write.
In children, the results were equally disturbing, with 9% of children ages two to five, 17.5% of those six to 11 and 20.5% of those 12 to 19 years old tipping the scale to obesity in 2011-2014. Overall, 5.8% were morbidly obese — having a body mass index of 40 or greater.
The findings come as hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in research, clinical and observational studies and community programs, including schools, to curb the obesity epidemic.
In an accompanying editorial, JAMA Deputy Editor Jody Zylke and Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner wrote, “although it is impossible to know what the extent of the obesity epidemic would have been without these efforts, the data reported … certainly do not suggest much success.”