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Recent Years Have Seen Obesity Prevalence Increasing for Adults

Increases in prevalence of obesity and severe obesity for adults; no significant trends for youth

WEDNESDAY, March 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For adults, but not youth, there was an increase in the prevalence of obesity in decade between 2007-2008 and 2015-2016, according to a research letter published online March 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Craig M. Hales, M.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues examined trends in the prevalence of obesity among U.S. youth and adults between 2007 to 2008 and 2015 to 2016. Data were included from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 16,875 youth and 27,449 adults.

The researchers found that the prevalence of obesity was 16.8 percent in 2007 to 2008 and 18.5 percent in 2015 to 2016 among youth; no significant linear trends were seen in the prevalence of obesity or severe obesity overall or by sex or age group. For adults, the age-standardized prevalence of obesity increased significantly from 33.7 percent in 2007 to 2008 to 39.6 percent in 2015 to 2016. Increases in prevalence were seen for women, adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 60 years or older. The age-standardized prevalence of severe obesity increased significantly from 5.7 percent in 2007 to 2008 to 7.7 percent in 2015 to 2016; increases in prevalence were seen in men and women, as well as in adults aged 20 to 39 and 40 to 59 years.

“Increases in obesity and severe obesity prevalence persisted among adults, whereas there were no overall significant trends among youth,” the authors write.

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