An analysis of several research studies has found that, in less than 10 years, 75 percent of U.S. adults will be overweight and 41 percent will be obese, helping obesity well on its way to becoming the leading preventable cause of death.
According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition, the nation's obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004. The so-called “meta-analysis,” a review of a large number of studies, was published online recently, in advance of the 2007 issue of the journal, Epidemiologic Reviews.
"Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese," Youfa Wang, lead author of the study, said in an article on FoodNavigatorUSA.com.
According to the review, which included a review of 20 journal papers, reports and online data, the prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased at an average rate of 0.3 to 0.8 percentage points across different socio-demographic groups over the past three decades.
Some minority and low socio-economic status groups are disproportionately affected by obesity, said the researchers. They included non-Hispanic black women and children, Mexican-American women and children, low socioeconomic status black men and white women and children, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The meta-analysis found that 66 percent of adults were overweight or obese in 2003-2004. Some 16 percent of children and adolescents were overweight and 34 percent were at risk of becoming overweight in 2003-2004.
Click here to read the article on FoodNavigator.com.
Click here to read about the journal, Epidemiological Reviews, which focuses each year on one topic. Its 2007 theme will be obesity.