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Obesity Prevalence Has Risen for All Socioeconomic Groups

Prevalence tends to be higher in some lower-income adults and children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- By 2008, more than a third of adults and almost 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 in the United States were obese, and obesity prevalence had risen among all income and education levels, according to research recently released by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed the most up-to-date National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to report on the relationship between obesity and socioeconomic status in the United States. They found that the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults had increased at all income and education levels, and, in 2007 to 2008, more than one-third of U.S. adults were obese. Obesity tended to be more prevalent among women with lower incomes than those with higher incomes, and less prevalent among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men with lower incomes than those with higher incomes. Obesity was also less prevalent among college-educated women, but there did not appear to be an obesity-education link in men.

Likewise, in children, the prevalence of obesity increased across all levels of income and education, and nearly 17 percent of those aged 2 to 19 were obese in 2007 to 2008. Low-income children were more likely to be obese, but the relationship was not consistent across racial and ethnic groups and the majority of obese children were not low-income. Obesity was less prevalent among children who lived in a home where the head of the household had a college degree, but this relationship also was not consistent across racial and ethnic groups.

"Between 1988 to 1994 and 2005 to 2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in children at all levels of income and education except among girls in households where the head had at least a college degree," the authors write.

Full Text - Adults
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