De-bunking the ‘leveling off’ of the obesity epidemic

September 3rd, 2015 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

As you are probably aware, several sources have been pointing recently to a levelling off in the obesity epidemic. A new study published in the International Journal of Obesity should raise some doubts. The authors took a deep look at studies purporting to find a leveling off. However, they found, “Decreasing participation rates, the use of reported rather than measured data and small sample sizes, or lack of representativeness, do not seem to explain breaks in the obesity epidemic…However, follow-ups of short duration may, in part, explain the apparent break or decrease in the obesity epidemic. On the other hand,  a single focus on Body Mass Index is likely to mask a real increase in the obesity epidemic. And, in both children and adults, trends in waist circumference were generally suggesting an increase, and were stronger than those reported for trends in BMI…Reported studies presenting a break were mostly of short duration. Further, focusing on trends in waist circumference rather than BMI leads to a less optimistic conclusion: the public health problem of obesity is still increasing.” (I have 5 or so posts on the so-called leveling off since 2010. Search “leveling obesity epidemic” to access them.)