Obesity, waist circumference continue to increase in US adults
From 1999 to 2012, abdominal obesity and average waist circumference increased among US adults, according to recent study findings published in JAMA.
Earl S. Ford, MD, MPH, of the CDC, and colleagues evaluated data from seven 2-year cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey starting in 1999-2000 and ending in 2011-2012 to determine average waist circumference and rates of abdominal obesity in US adults. Overall, 32,816 men and nonpregnant women aged at least 20 years were evaluated. Researchers defined abdominal obesity as >102 cm in men and >88 cm in women.
In 1999-2000, overall age-adjusted mean waist circumference was 95.5 cm, increasing to 98.5 cm in 2011-2012. Men, women, non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans all experienced significant increases.
Non-Hispanic black women aged 30 to 39 years experienced the greatest increase in waist circumference between the first and last surveys (11.6 cm), followed by Mexican-American women aged at least 70 years (11.2 cm), Mexican-American men aged 20 to 29 years (8.7 cm), non-Hispanic black men aged 30 to 39 years (8.2 cm) and non-Hispanic white women aged 40 to 49 years (6.6 cm). Significant increases in waist circumference were found from 2003 to 2012 among all adults (P=.02 for linear trend), women (P<.01 for linear trend), non-Hispanic blacks (P=.02 for linear trend) and Mexican Americans (P=.01 for linear trend).
In 1999-2000, overall age-adjusted prevalence of abdominal obesity was 46.6%, increasing to 54.2% in 2011-2012. Men, women, non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans all experienced significant increases.
“At a time when the prevalence of obesity may have reached a plateau, the waistlines of US adults continue to expand,” the researchers wrote. “Our results support the routine measurement of waist circumference in clinical care consistent with current recommendations as a key step in initiating the prevention, control, and management of obesity among patients.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.