CHICAGO (AP) — America’s obesity epidemic is proving to be as stubborn as those maddening love handles, and shows no sign of reversing course. More than one-third of adults and almost 17% of children were obese in 2009-2010, and obesity is about as common as it was in 2003, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Tuesday.
“It’s good that we didn’t see increases. On the other hand, we didn’t see any decreases in any group,” said CDC researcher Cynthia Ogden.
Early in the decade, slight increases were seen among white, black and Hispanic men, and among Hispanic and black women. These changes may be leveling off, but the authors said they “found no indication that the prevalence of obesity is declining in any group.”
In 2009-2010, more than 78 million adults and almost 13 million children ages 2-19 were obese, the CDC researchers reported.
Those numbers are staggering, and while they haven’t increased in recent years, “we’re plateauing at an unacceptably high prevalence rate,” said Dr. David Ludwig, director of an obesity prevention center at Children’s Hospital Boston. He was not involved in the reports.
The CDC reports summarize results of national health surveys in children and adults, which are conducted every two years. The nationally representative surveys include in-person weight and height measurements. The 2009-2010 reports involved nearly 6,000 adults and about 4,000 children, from infancy through age 19.