Relationship Between the Childhood and Adult Obesity Epidemics

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The obesity epidemic that began in the early 1970s and escalated after 1980 for children and youth has progressed similarly in adults over the same time period. As depicted in Figures 2-6 and 2-7, between the 19711974 NHANES and the 1999-2000 NHANES the prevalence of obesity-defined as a BMI at or above 30 kg/m2—more than doubled (from 14.5

62 65 70 74 80 94 2000

Year

62 65 70 74 80 94 2000

Year

FIGURE 2-6 Overweight and obesity by age in the United States, 1960-2000. NOTE: Percents for adults are age-adjusted. Obesity for children is defined as a BMI at or above the age- and gender-specific 95th percentile BMI cutpoints from the 2000 CDC BMI charts. Obesity for adults is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30. Obesity is a subset of the percent of overweight. SOURCE: CDC, 2003.

64% Overweight or Obese

67% Overweight or Obese

62% Overweight or Obese

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