brfss self reported obesity 2011
CDC just published an “obesity map” that is very much like how they display the spread of influenza…and it isn’t pretty. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are now obese.

OK, just to make sure we are all on the same page what is the definition of obese? Obesity in adults was defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30. The definition of obesity for children is not directly comparable with the definition for adults. Obesity in children was defined as a BMI greater than or equal to the age- and sex-specific 95th percentiles of the 2000 CDC growth charts. To compute your BMI, go to the NHLBI website (you can get an app to at ITunes).

Now get this…In 1999–2000, only 27.5% of men were obese, and by 2009–2010 the prevalence had increased to 35.5%.

A bit more detail…Among women, 33.4% were obese in 1999–2000 with no significant change in 2009–2010 (35.8%). In 1999–2000, the prevalence of obesity was higher in women than in men. Between 1999–2000 and 2009–2010, the difference in the prevalence of obesity between men and women decreased so that in 2009–2010, the prevalence of obesity in men was virtually equal to that in women. There was no significant change in the prevalence of obesity from 2007–2008 to 2009–2010 overall or among men or women.

Obesity increases the risk of a number of health conditions including hypertension, adverse lipid concentrations, and type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of obesity in the United States increased during the last decades of the 20th century.

Is there any good news?  It appears that more recently there appears to have been a slowing of the rate of increase or even a leveling off. The cost of all of this weight in health care, life expectancy, even fuel is mind boggling.