For the first time since the numbers were crunched in 1980, the U.S. obesity epidemic seems to have reached a plateau. Americans got heavier and heavier through the 1980s and 1990s, but starting in the early 2000s, the steep increases seemed to slow.
Two studies, one in adults and one in children, were published online today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009-2010. They found no change from the prior survey, the second period of no change in the last 10 years.
Pat Crawford, Director of the Center for Weight and Health at U.C. Berkeley called the studies “cautious good news. … I am thrilled with the plateauing and I am encouraged. I think the biggest risk is that people relax and think we don’t have an obesity issue any more.” Today about one-third of American men and women, and about one in six children and teens are obese. Continue reading