The rate of obesity is still rising among United States adults, according to a government report. This rise is despite the best efforts of public-awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to keep their weight under control and despite experts saying that obesity rates had leveled off in recent years. Women have now overtaken men in number who are classified as obese, according to the report.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a report saying that the obesity rate in the country has climbed to nearly 38% of adults in 2013 to 2014. This rate is up from 32% about 10 years earlier. The report also found that more women than men are now obese. Obesity rates for men and women had been roughly the same for several years, but now the rate is 38% for women, compared to 34% for men.
Obesity is considered one of the nation's leading health problems. Up until the early 1980s, only about 1 in 6 American adults were obese. The rate started climbing until it hit about 1 in 3 around 2005.
In recent years, there have been many public awareness campaigns about the need for healthier eating and more exercise. These were intended to curb the obesity epidemic.
The new figures come from a regularly conducted government survey with about 5,000 participants who are actually weighed, rather than just asked how much they weigh. Because the report uses actual weight statistics, it is considered to be an excellent measure the nation's body weight. The CDC measures obesity using body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. For adults, a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight, and 30 or higher is obese.
The widening gap between men and women may be due to larger gender gaps among blacks and Hispanics. Obesity rates for white men and white women remain relatively close. But for blacks, the female obesity rate is 57% while the male rate is 38%. The gender gap is wider among Hispanics, with 46% for women and 39% for men.
The report did not see much change in obesity rates in children. For young people aged 2 to 19, the rate has been holding at about 17%.