Tuesday, April 8, 2008

U.S. Obesity Rates

I found this amazing - but startling - chart on Paul Levy's blog. Click through the slides to watch the unfortunate trend in obesity illustrated in dramatic fasion.

Read this doc on Scribd: obesity trends 2006[1]

This information is all the more alarming when the numbers are put into perspective. The following information is taken from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) website.

Defining Overweight and Obesity
Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.

Definitions for Adults
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.

An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
See the following table for an example.

Height Weight Range BMI Considered
5’ 9”
124 lbs or less Below 18.5 Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5 to 24.9 Healthy weight
169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs or more 30 or higher Obese

(To calculate your BMI, click here)
With health care, and more importantly, health care costs continuing to draw national attention of a mostly negative ilk, the trends and statistics illustrated above may help to point out that many, many more people than just doctors, politicians and health insurance executives play a very fundamental role in determining the nature, and cost, of health care in this country.

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