Obesity Epidemic

Obesity and overweight are defined as having a body mass index (BMI) that is ≥30 and ≥25 kilograms per square meter, respectively. In the United States, children (between 2 and 18 years of age) are categorized as obese or overweight using age- and sex-specific BMI cut-points. The onset of the obesity epidemic can be tracked to the United States around 1980. From that time until the beginning of the 21st century, the U.S. prevalence of obesity in both adults (Flegal, Carroll, Kuczmarski, & Johnson, 1998; Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, & Johnson, 2002) and children (Fryar, Carroll, & Ogden, 2012; Ogden, Flegal, Carroll, & Johnson, 2002) more than doubled. In the past decade, estimates have continued to increase among non-Hispanic black and Mexican American women, all men, ...

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