Obesity among adults leveling off, according to new study

Obesity in the U.S. may be hitting a plateau for adults, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Statistics reveal that, in 2012, 34.9 percent of people in the country were obese – which is not a far cry from the 35.7 percent of people who were classified as obese in 2010.

Numbers still troubling

While obesity rates may be leveling off among adults, the sheer number of people with the condition – about 78 million in both 2010 and 2012 – is still concerning, Harvey Grill, president of the Obesity Society, told USA Today.

"On one hand, this represents relatively good news considering the numbers could have gone up, but the fact that we're at 35 percent of adult Americans who are obese is extremely troubling because their obesity will result in health problems for the majority of them," Grill said.

Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics, said there hasn't been a significant change in adult obesity rates since 2004, when the number hovered around 32 percent.

Other statistics

The study also showed that obesity rates haven't changed much between men and women, and that middle-age is the problem period for most people – obesity rates are higher among middle-aged adults than younger adults.

Black adults and Hispanics are more likely than whites to be obese, while Asian adults still have the lowest obesity rates, at 10.8 percent.

Obesity rates were also higher among black women (56.6 percent) than Hispanic women (44.4 percent) and white women (32.8 percent).

The study didn't include data on children, but recent research from the American Heart Association found that, while childhood obesity rates are leveling off, "severe obesity" is becoming a bigger problem. Severe obesity in kids is defined by having a body mass index that's at least 20 percent higher than the 95th percentile for a child's gender or age.

Source: USA Today

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