click here to skip the menu and go to the page content

rebecca's pocket

about / archive / syndicate

.: August 2007 --> Obesity in the US, 1985 - 2003

Obesity in the US, 1985 - 2003

» I guess it's only appropriate to follow that with an infographic on the rise of obesity in the United States from 1985 to 2003. The trend is pretty spectacular.
 [ 08.10.07 ]


Didn't the U.S. Govt. change the definition of obesity sometime between 1995-2000? I remember being grumpy around then because my government called me fat. I guess I fit right in with the national trend, though. In 1985 I was distraught because I had to buy jeans with a 36" waist, when I thought I should be wearing 33s. Now, I can barely fit in 46ers.

if the body outpictures the mind maybe we just have a congested mind thickened with too many ridiculous concepts ... and just having spent three months in america, the first in many years, i must say i didnt see the obesity on the streets, but i was in los gatos, and the bay area, and the most obvious physical symptom i saw revealed the true reason why it is called silicon valley ... bust enhancement, 300,000 adult american women a year, now that is sick indeed...

John: Yes, the BMI was changed in 1998; every standard ("overweight", "obesity") was ticked down 2 points. Note that this resulted in an additional 25 million people instantly deemed "overweight".

Two things about that.

- The chart doesn't make clear which standard it is using. It's entirely possible that the historical data has been aligned to the more recent standard. I would hope that's the case.

- Even if they are using one standard for 1997 and before, and different one for 1998 and later, the trend is quite clear. Four out of the 6 data points on the chart are from before 1998, and the population is getting fatter.

Rebecca: "I would hope that's the case."

Oh, me too... but I'm kinda suspect. You can dial up the study on the CDC site and check it out, but I see nothing referencing it.

In addition, the limitations of the survey are noted there (and in the wee footnote on CNN): the numbers are all self-reported, they exclude people who solely use cell phones, and they exclude people without landlines. They suggest this might lead to underestimation of the fatness, noting that poorer people are less likely to have telephones.

In any case it's interesting to also note that roughly 75% of American adults were trying to lose or maintain weight in 2004, and weight loss surgery is also on the rise.



» primary link / supplemental information / internal link

my book

» the weblog handbook
amazon editors' best of 2002, digital culture

recent posts