New studies are coming out about the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and they are not pretty. Men and women are both getting fatter at alarming rates, but according to a new study that was published in JAMA, women are currently on pace to outdo men.
Over the past thirty some-odd years, men and women shared a relative pace of obesity, with few separating trends in between. In other words, both were getting fatter at roughly the same speed. But now, women have taken the lead.
The new study says that 40% of women in the U.S. are considered, by medical standards, to be obese. In order to be considered obese, you have to have a BMI (Body Mass Index) score of 30 or greater. For example, a woman who is 5-foot-9-inches would have to weigh at least 203 pounds or more to score a BMI of 30.
The study combines data that was collected from 2013 through 2014 and that was contrasted against a sampling of more than 2,600 men, with an average female age range of 48 and an average male age range of 47.
Notably, the study also found that male smokers have a higher likelihood for obesity; educated women are less likely to be obese; 17% of children are obese.
Thanks to newer educational initiatives, the younger generation is becoming less obese, a small tapering effect that could spur positive results as these children grow into adults.
But the epidemic is far from over, according to a recent CDC report. As of 2012, the last time the census was conducted, 33% of children were obese in the US.
Overall, the CDC says that 34.9% of Americans are obese. The agency warns that, “Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”
All told, obesity is estimated to cost the government $147 billion per year (in 2008 dollars). The personal cost extolled amounts to $1,429 more per year in medical costs per person, the CDC warns.
Topping the list are middle-aged adults between 40-59 years of age, with an obesity percentage of 39.5%, followed by younger adults between 20-39 years of age at 30.3%.