Forecasting rates of overweight

April 23, 2010

Obesity rates for American adults have stabilized while the rate of childhood and minority obesity is rising, according to a study in the journal Medical Decision Making.

Using a novel approach based on national data from 2000-2004 and validated against 2005-2006 data, the study looked at future projections for the distribution of in the United States. The research explored statistics for many categories of Americans based on gender, age and race, seeking to discover which overweight groups were the most likely to have stable, rising or lower rates of weight.

Projections reveal that across all age categories for the adult US population will remain stable for the next 10 years. That positive report, however, is contrasted to less positive projections indicating that the following groups of Americans may have rising rates of overweight:

  • Black young adults (age 18-39 years)
  • Children - mainly boys - (ages 6-9)
  • Black children (10 and over)
"The unprecedented rise in obesity among U.S. adults over the past two decades appears to have stabilized and will continue to remain stable over the next 10 years," said author Anirban Basu PhD, University of Chicago School of Medicine. "Levels of obesity, however, remain very high and we're particularly concerned with the increase in rates of overweight among 6-9 year-old children - especially boys. As they age they could contribute again to the rise of adult , so addressing these risks in early childhood is of utmost importance."

More information: The article "Forecasting Distribution of Body Mass Index in the United States: Is There More Room for Growth?" published in Medical Decision Making is available free for a limited time at

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