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Obesity Rates for American Adults Stable but Child and Minority Obesity Rising

Author: SAGE Publications

Published: 2010-04-24

Synopsis and Key Points:

Obesity rates for American adults have stabilized while the rate of childhood and minority obesity is rising.

Main Digest

Forecasting rates of overweight - Obesity rates for American adults have stabilized while the rate of childhood and minority obesity is rising, according to a study in the journal Medical Decision Making, published by SAGE.

Using a novel simulation approach based on national data from 2000-2004 and validated against 2005-2006 data, the study looked at future projections for the distribution of body mass index in the United States. The research explored statistics for many categories of Americans based on gender, age and race, seeking to discover which overweight groups were the most likely to have stable, rising or lower rates of weight.

Projections reveal that obesity rates across all age categories for the adult US population will remain stable for the next 10 years. That positive report, however, is contrasted to less positive projections indicating that the following groups of Americans may have rising rates of overweight:

Black young adults (age 18-39 years)

Children - mainly boys - (ages 6-9)

Black children (10 and over)

"The unprecedented rise in obesity among U.S. adults over the past two decades appears to have stabilized and will continue to remain stable over the next 10 years," said author Anirban Basu PhD, University of Chicago School of Medicine. "Levels of obesity, however, remain very high and we're particularly concerned with the increase in rates of overweight among 6-9 year-old children - especially boys. As they age they could contribute again to the rise of adult obesity, so addressing these risks in early childhood is of utmost importance."

The article "Forecasting Distribution of Body Mass Index in the United States: Is There More Room for Growth" published in Medical Decision Making is available free for a limited time at mdm.sagepub.com/cgi/rapidpdf/0272989X09351749v1.

Medical Decision Making (MDM) offers rigorous and systematic approaches to decision making that are designed to improve the health and clinical care of individuals and to assist with health policy development. It is the official journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making (www.smdm.org). The Journal presents theoretical, statistical, and modeling techniques and methods from a variety of disciplines, including decision psychology, health economics, clinical epidemiology, and evidence synthesis. MDM promotes understanding of human decision-making processes so that individuals can make more informed and satisfying choices regarding their health. mdm.sagepub.com

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com

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