View Full Version : OBESE Americans 'has quadrupled since the 1980s to about 4 million!'

Oct 13th, 2003, 10:41 PM
Study: 1 in 50 Americans Morbidly Obese
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By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO - Americans are not just getting fatter, they are ballooning to extremely obese proportions at an alarming rate.

AP Photo

The number of extremely obese American adults — those who are at least 100 pounds overweight — has quadrupled since the 1980s to about 4 million. That works out to about 1 in every 50 adults.

Extreme obesity once was thought to be a rare, distinct condition whose prevalence remained relatively steady over time. The new study contradicts that thinking and suggests that it is at least partly due to the same kinds of behavior — overeating and under-activity — that have contributed to the epidemic number of Americans with less severe weight problems.

In fact, the findings by a RAND Corp. researcher show that the number of extremely obese adults has surged twice as fast as the number of less severely obese adults.

On the scale of obesity, "as the whole population shifts to the right, the extreme categories grow the fastest," said RAND economist Roland Sturm. He added: "These people have the highest health care costs."

Sturm said health problems associated with obesity — including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis — probably affect the extremely obese disproportionately and at young ages.

Sturm analyzed annual telephone surveys conducted nationwide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His report covers surveys from 1986 through 2000. The findings appear in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

In 1986, 1 in 200 adults reported height and weight measurements reflecting extreme obesity, or a body-mass index of at least 40. By 2000 that had jumped to 1 in 50, Sturm found.

The prevalence of the most extreme obesity — people with a BMI of at least 50 — grew fivefold from 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 400, Sturm said.

By contrast, ordinary obesity — a BMI of 30 to 35 — doubled, from about 1 in 10 to 1 in 5, based on the same surveys.

Body-mass index is a ratio of height to weight.

Americans tend to understate their weight, and a recent study based on actual measurements found an obesity rate of nearly 1 in 3, or almost 59 million people. Sturm said his findings probably understate the problem for the same reason.

The average man with a BMI of 40 in Sturm's study was 5-foot-10 and 300 pounds, while the average woman was 5-foot-4 and 250 pounds.

Dr. Mary Vernon, a trustee of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, said the study reflects what doctors who specialize in treating obesity are seeing in their offices. Vernon said the number of her patients weighing 300 to 350 pounds or so has doubled in the past several years.

She said thinking has evolved from a generation ago, when many doctors believed extreme obesity was due to hormonal abnormalities or other distinct conditions.

Now many believe it is a combination of lifestyle factors and genetics, as well as a propensity for some people's bodies to be hyper-efficient at storing calories. This tendency would benefit people in societies where starvation is rampant but is a huge problem in developed countries where food is plentiful and lifestyles are increasingly sedentary, Vernon said.

Vernon said the biggest challenge in treating severely obese people, who typically have tried mightily to lose weight, "is giving them enough hope that it's worth trying again."

SOMETHING needs to be done :eek:
are people not cncerned about their health? or are they just too damn lazy.
People have much more leisure time, so don't give the 'so much work' thing. I think the problem is that people have too much leisure time, so they stay in, and if they go out, they go to Mcdonalds every day.
I don't think the situation is much better in Canada.
Also, today I was walking by Mcdonalds, and a family of four was in their van eating grossly at the hamburgers and fries and coke, it was disgusting.
What should be done?
There is no easy solution I can think off for the government or any other organization to put in place that won't take freedom away.

Oct 13th, 2003, 10:51 PM
Go figure, all you see here are fat asses or bags of bones. What happened to a balanced middle?

Oct 13th, 2003, 10:53 PM
It's OK, the more meat the nation has, the more its potential is in case of hunger.

Oct 14th, 2003, 12:22 AM
Sturm analyzed annual telephone surveys conducted nationwide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His report covers surveys from 1986 through 2000. The findings appear in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

coupled with

Americans tend to understate their weight

and the fact that the BMI is actually a relatively new way of measuring obesity falsify this article on its face. Self-report is the worst sort of data that can be collected, mostly because it cannot be clarified through any objective means. And really, how many people tell the truth in a telephone survey?

Plus it doesn't help that the standards for health keep changing. The government's response to this 'battle of the bluge' seems to be to keep raising the standards of health and beauty.

Oct 14th, 2003, 12:30 AM
Though u are totally right that it should not be taken as a fact when someone tells you over the phone they are fat or skinny or 'perfect', it is also easily recognizable that the problem is on the rise.
The media has had a HUGE impact on this kind of rise. When people see beautiful people, they see themselves not being able to reach that kind of standard, and they fall into a kind of depression. something is obviously wrong with society, and it doesn't not seem to be changing any time soon.

King Satan
Oct 14th, 2003, 12:32 AM
i blame it on fast food, video games, and parents. :)

Oct 14th, 2003, 12:51 AM
i blame it on fast food, video games, and parents. :)

I blame it on .. cars..

Oct 14th, 2003, 02:51 AM
oh well... i look good :devil:

Oct 14th, 2003, 02:59 AM
Well, is this a surprise, really?! :rolleyes:
American culture is obsessed with fast food, junk food, soda and processed food. Meals are now more common in cars and the quality of our meats are dire. Processed foods are stacked with trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and I am also convinced that that is a result of our increased cancer rates and other diseases. On top of that, americans in general don't like to exercise. We like to have it the "easy" way out with stupid diets (like Atkins) and not get out there and work out. We also drive everywhere, which cuts out a huge sources of daily natural exercise. As a result, we become big and fat. And we're supposed to be surprised by this?!?! :rolleyes:

Oct 14th, 2003, 03:07 AM
just as long as i'm not obese and my family and friends aren't, then i don't care.

Oct 14th, 2003, 03:08 AM
I tell, it's cars. Americans who live in big cities are generally much less fat, even if they eat the same junk food and play same videogames. But because they have to move much more on their feet, stand in public transportation they are not nearly as fat. People in Manhattan are generally not fat at all.

Also, as all classic books on American class system say, being fat is a certain attribute of proles. People of upper classes are not supposed to be fat.