Monday, November 16, 2015

Adult obesity rates, a major concern in rural areas, are on the rise, especially among women

Obesity, a major concern in rural areas, is on the rise among American adults, especially women, says a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The obesity rate among U.S. adults was 37.7 percent in 2013-14, up from 32.2 percent in 2003-2004. While obesity rates have long been similar among adult male and females, CDC says that 38.3 percent of women are now obese, compared to 34.3 percent of men. The obesity rate among youth ages 2 to 19 was 17.2 percent, up from 17.1 percent from 2003-2004. (CDC graphic)
Obesity has plagued rural areas, especially the South, the nation's most rural region in terms of population. According to the 12th Annual State of Obesity report released in September by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seven of the top 10 states with the highest rates are in the South and 23 of the 25 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South and Midwest.

One of the main concerns is that "for the past several years experts thought the nation's alarming, decades-long rise in obesity had leveled off," Mike Stobbe reports for The Associated Press. Dr. William Dietz, an obesity expert at George Washington University, told Stobbe "This is a striking finding," and suggested that a situation that was thought to be stable is getting worse.

The study, which consisted of 5,000 participants, found that "the prevalence of obesity was higher among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic adults and youth than among non-Hispanic Asian adults and youth." Also, "the prevalence of obesity was higher among middle-aged (40.2 percent) and older (37 percent) adults than younger (32.3 percent) adults."

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