Obesity Prevalence: No Change in Youth or Adult Levels in 10 years

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, MRP
Epidemiologist and Analysis Branch Chief
Hyattsville, MD 20782

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Ogden: We continue to track obesity levels in the US population using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. New data are now available for 2011-2012. We found that 17% of youth and 35% of adults were obese. Overall there has been no change in obesity levels among either youth or adults in the last 10 years. The prevalence of obesity among youth was 16.9% – exactly the same as in 2009-2010. In separate age groups analyses we found a decrease in obesity among 2-5 year olds and an increase in obesity among older women 60+ years.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Ogden: Although there have been no overall trends in obesity prevalence in the last 10 years, there may be improvements in some groups and obesity may continue to be increasing in others. The decrease in obesity prevalence we saw among young children 2-5 years is consistent with some other studies showing a decrease in this age group (eg among children who participate in federal nutrition programs: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6231a4.htm).

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Ogden: It is important to continue surveillance of obesity in the US population, especially in relation to obesity prevalence among young children where we found an improvement.


Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012