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National Council on Strength & Fitness
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Obesity Awareness Month
 
 
 

For adults, overweight has historically be defined by a weight greater than 10% above the mean for a select height and weight, whereas obesity was defined as a weight greater than 20% of the mean for the same height. Today, height and weight values are still used for the diagnosis of overweight and obesity but they are also defined by Body Mass Index (BMI) values. The relevance of the terms is not related to vanity but rather that they both identify body sizes which increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems leading to premature death. Significant concern related to the size of Americans is valid for everyone as the health costs of an obese person are substantially higher than a normal weight person and obesity-related diabetes represents the most costly disease to the healthcare system.

 

The statistical data defined below is based on BMI diagnosis of overweight and obesity. BMI is used because it offers easy methodology and for most people it correlates well with their amount of body fat. Overly muscular individuals cannot use BMI for accurate health risk determination as muscle mass reduces accuracy. However, keep in mind that overly muscular individuals represent a very, very small percentage of the population.

 
 

Over the past four decades the National Center for Health statistics has been tracking America’s obesity problem and have noted a linear trend. Since the 1960’s humans have increased in size by 0.65 lbs per year. If this trend continues the average weight in America two hundred years from now will be over 200 lbs.

 

Reason for Concern….

 
 

IHRSA/American Sports Data, Inc.

 
2007 State Obesity Rates
State%State%State%State%
Alabama30.3Illinois24.9Montana21.8Rhode Island21.4
Alaska27.5Indiana26.8Nebraska26.0South Carolina28.4
Arizona25.4Iowa26.9Nevada24.1South Dakota26.2
Arkansas28.7Kansas26.9New Hampshire24.4Tennessee30.1
California22.6Kentucky27.4New Jersey23.5Texas28.1
Colorado18.7Louisiana29.8New Mexico24.0Utah21.8
Connecticut21.2Maine24.8New York25.0Vermont21.3
Delaware27.4Maryland25.4North Carolina28.0Virginia24.3
Washington DC21.8Massachusetts21.3North Dakota26.5Washington25.3
Florida23.6Michigan27.7Ohio27.5West Virginia29.5
Georgia28.2Minnesota25.6Oklahoma28.1Wisconsin24.7
Hawaii21.4Mississippi32.0Oregon25.5Wyoming23.7
Idaho24.5Missouri27.5Pennsylvania27.1
 

Published by the CDC

 

Data from NHANES I (1971–1974) to NHANES 2003–2006 show increases in overweight among all age groups:

 
Prevalence of Obesity* Among U.S. Children and Adolescents
(Aged 2–19 Years)
 Survey Periods
 NHANES II
1976–1980
NHANES III
1988–1994
NHANES
1999–2002
NHANES
2003–2006
Ages
2 through 5
5%7.2%10.3%12.4%
Ages
6 through 11
6.5%11.3%15.8%17.0%
Ages
12 through 19
5%10.5%16.1%17.6%
 
 

Published by the CDC