America's Obesity Problem Is Only Getting Bigger

2 in 5 women and 1 in 5 teens are now obese
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2016 6:51 PM CDT
America's Obesity Problem Is Only Getting Bigger
Two new government studies found the obesity problem in America is getting worse, not better.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Despite "hundreds of millions of dollars" spent fight obesity in America, the problem is only getting worse, specifically for women and teens, researchers say. The CDC published two new studies of obesity in adults and children Tuesday. The results were not encouraging. MSNBC reports 38% of US adults are now obese. And while the number of obese men held steady at 35%, the number of obese women rose above 40%. That means two out of every five women are considered dangerously overweight—a 5% increase over the past decade, according to CNN. "It's a really alarming figure," a dietician tells the AP. "It's alarming that it's continuing to go up despite government calls to action on weight loss and healthy eating."

The studies found 17% of Americans under the age of 19 are obese. And while that number is leveling off for younger children, it continues to rise for teens. Currently one out of every five American teenagers is obese. According to researchers, it's unclear why obesity continues to trend upward for women and teens. The CDC projects 42% of American adults will be obese by 2030. “Perhaps it is time for an entirely different approach, one that emphasizes collaboration with the food and restaurant industries that are in part responsible for putting food on dinner tables," researchers say. Obesity in adults is defined as a BMI of 30 or more. For children, it's having a weight that's greater than 95% of other children of the same age and height. (More obesity stories.)

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