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Adult Obesity Rates Continue to Increase with Women’s Rates Surpassing Men’s, Study Says

Update Date: Nov 12, 2015 02:53 PM EST

Despite efforts to reduce adult obesity, the rates continue to rise, according to new federal research.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Thursday that the American adult obesity rate has increased from 32 percent to nearly 38 percent over the past 10 years. Not only did the experts find that the rates have increased, they also found that the obesity rate in women has surpassed the rate in men. The rates were at 38 percent for women and 34 percent for men.

The widening gap between women and men could be attributed to the obesity rates in black and Hispanic women. The authors of the report found that while the obesity rates remained pretty much the same for white women and men, the rate for black women skyrocketed to 57 percent while the rate for black men was at 38 percent. For Hispanics, the rates were 46 percent in women and 39 percent in men.

The research also looked into childhood obesity rates and found that there was not much of a change. The rate for children and teenagers between the ages of two and 19 stayed at around 17 percent. The obesity rates for preschoolers, kids in the 6-11 age group and teenagers were nine percent, more than 17 percent and more than 20 percent, respectively.

The news is very disappointing since the government and organizations have been working very hard to encourage people to eat healthier and exercise more. The increased obesity rate also shows how certain campaigns might not be as effective as the agencies thought. For example, even though soda consumption has declined and fast-food restaurants have added healthier choices, people are still gaining weight.

The researchers noted that the effects of these campaigns could show up in future data if the rates start to drop.

The report was based on data collected from a 2013-14 survey that involved around 5,000 participants. The experts physically weighed every single participant instead of relying on self-reports, which can be biased. Other data that the report found included:

-Obesity rates were highest in middle-aged adults at around 40 percent. The rates were 37 percent in older adults and 32 percent in younger adults.

-Asians have the lowest obesity rates when compared to whites, blacks and Hispanics.

Obesity is a serious disease that can lead to several health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. By preventing obesity, not only would people be healthier, health care costs would also be a lot lower.

Obesity is measured using body mass index (BMI), which takes into account one's height in relation to weight.

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