Adult Weight Gain Hits a Plateau
Research tells us that the most effective weight-loss programs include regular individual and group support
After more than two decades of alarming increases in rates of overweight and obesity, America's weight problem seems to have stabilized. The latest data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that the rate of obesity is unchanged over the previous ten years in women and over the previous five years in men.
Upward trends are leveling off
The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, used data from 5,555 adults collected from 2007 to 2008 and compared it to data collected from 1999 through 2006. Body mass index (or BMI, which equals weight in kilograms, divided by height in meters, squared) was calculated for each participant. Overweight was defined as a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9, and obesity was defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.
The following observations were drawn from the data:
We still have a long way to go
"The prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to be high, exceeding 30% in most sex and [adult] age groups," the study's authors said. "These data suggest that the increases in the prevalence of obesity previously observed...may not be continuing at a similar level over the period 1999 to 2008, particularly for women but possibly for men."
Stabilizing our collective weight is a first step in gaining control of the problem. Based on this report, public health programs can incorporate some of the following strategies:
Maureen Williams, ND, received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. She has a private practice on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Canada, and has done extensive work with traditional herbal medicine in Guatemala and Honduras. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.