Finally, some uplifting news in America’s epic battle against the obesity epidemic. After a steady increase in obesity levels throughout the 1980s and 1990s, two new studies suggest that obesity rates have actually stabilised over the last decade (via The Wall Street Journal).
According to researchers at the centres for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2009 and 2010 obesity levels among adult men and women showed no significant change since 2003.
Between 1999 and 2010, the rate did not change among women, and grew only slightly among men.
Over the 12-year-period from 1988 to 2000, adult obesity — defined as having a body mass index of 30 or greater — increased by nearly 8 percentage points, according to the report.
So why have obesity rates suddenly plateaued?
Researchers are still looking into this, but list a number of potential factors including “an expansion of the food supply, energy imbalance, [and] the possible effect of environmental endocrine disruptors,” according to Betsy McKay of WSJ’s Health Blog.
Flatlining figures could also be attributed to increased public awareness about obesity and healthier food choices, according Michael Zemel, a professor of nutrition science at the University of Tennessee (via HealthNewsDaily).