What Leveling Off?

May 23rd, 2014 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

Recently, the word from the Michelle Obama, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others, has been that the obesity epidemic is ‘leveling off,” at least among children. Many of us are skeptical because there was no evidence of the cause of any leveling off (much like we have don’t understand the putative causes of obesity) but mainly because the time separation of one survey from another was really too short to demonstrate a trend.

Now comes another piece to the puzzle. The folks at Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index have surveyed adult individuals in the US since 2008, using self-reported heights and weights to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). The most recent survey shows adult obesity has increased to 27.7% in 2014 from 27.1% in 2013. The share of the population at a normal weight continues to decline from 35.7% in 2013 to 35.3% in 2014.


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