According to data released on Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American obesity rates have remained constant for at least 5 years for men and about 10 years for rates of obese women and children.
That’s not to say the numbers aren’t high, though. An estimated 34 percent of American adults are obese, which is more than double the percent thirty years ago. Perhaps scarier, during the past thirty years, the percent of obese children tripled to 17 percent.
Though Dr. William H Dietz of CDC calls the data “promising” and credited the plateau to increased awareness of obesity, he is careful to note that we can’t congratulate ourselves jut yet. In a New York Times article, he says, “I don’t think we have in place the kind of policy or environmental changes needed to reverse the epidemic just yet.”
Dr. Ludwig, the director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children’s Hospital Boston also stresses that a leveling off is not a free pass to drop the ball on working to prevent obesity. “Until we see numbers improving, not just staying the same, we can’t have any confidence that our lifestyle has improved.” He even goes so far as to suggest we may have reached a “biological limit” for obesity.
I just find it amazing that for a country so obsessed with thinness, we have such high rates of overweight and obesity. I wish my program offered more opportunities to study the psychological aspect. I guess that would be a whole separate degree though. Sometimes I think if it weren’t for being so interested in clinical nutrition, I’d focus more on public health and/or food studies. Time for everything, I suppose.