TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Two reports from the U.S.
National Center for Health Statistics show that the obesity
epidemic is hitting young and older Americans across the economic
The NCHS, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, released the reports on Tuesday. Looking at both adults
and children, they compared obesity rates using national data from
1988 to 1994 and from 2005 to 2008, using data from the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Overall, "the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all
income and education levels," during that time, the authors said,
and the same general trend held for American children. They noted
that by 2008 more than a third of American adults were obese, as
well as nearly 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19
There were some disparities based on income. For example, among
adult males, obesity was similar across income levels, although for
black and Hispanic men rates of obesity tended to rise along with
income. On the other hand, higher-income women were less likely to
be obese compared to their less affluent peers.
Among children, low family income was tied to a higher
likelihood of obesity, but the association was not consistent
across all racial and ethnic groups. The NCHS team also stressed
that "most obese children and adolescents are not low income,"
defined as below 130 percent of the poverty line.
In terms of education, the researchers found no significant
trend linking education and a tendency toward obesity for men.
However, women with college degrees were less likely to be obese
compared to women without higher education.
Children raised in homes where the head of household had a
college degree were less prone to become obese versus kids raised
in households headed by someone without such education. However,
this relationship was not consistent across race and ethnicity
groups, the NCHS report found.
There's more on keeping overweight at bay at the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.