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. 2014 Aug;127(8):717-727.e12.
doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.02.026. Epub 2014 Mar 11.

Obesity, Abdominal Obesity, Physical Activity, and Caloric Intake in US Adults: 1988 to 2010

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Free PMC article

Obesity, Abdominal Obesity, Physical Activity, and Caloric Intake in US Adults: 1988 to 2010

Uri Ladabaum et al. Am J Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Obesity and abdominal obesity are associated independently with morbidity and mortality. Physical activity attenuates these risks. We examined trends in obesity, abdominal obesity, physical activity, and caloric intake in US adults from 1988 to 2010.

Methods: Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.

Results: Average body mass index (BMI) increased by 0.37% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30-0.44) per year in both women and men. Average waist circumference increased by 0.37% (95% CI, 0.30-0.43) and 0.27% (95% CI, 0.22-0.32) per year in women and men, respectively. The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity increased substantially, as did the prevalence of abdominal obesity among overweight adults. Younger women experienced the greatest increases. The proportion of adults who reported no leisure-time physical activity increased from 19.1% (95% CI, 17.3-21.0) to 51.7% (95% CI, 48.9-54.5) in women, and from 11.4% (95% CI, 10.0-12.8) to 43.5% (95% CI, 40.7-46.3) in men. Average daily caloric intake did not change significantly. BMI and waist circumference trends were associated with physical activity level but not caloric intake. The associated changes in adjusted BMIs were 8.3% (95% CI, 6.9-9.6) higher among women and 1.7% (95% CI, 0.68-2.8) higher among men with no leisure-time physical activity compared with those with an ideal level of leisure-time physical activity.

Conclusions: Our analyses highlight important dimensions of the public health problem of obesity, including trends in younger women and in abdominal obesity, and lend support to the emphasis placed on physical activity by the Institute of Medicine.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Adiposity; Body mass index; Calories; Diet; Exercise; Obesity; Physical activity; Waist circumference; Weight.

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosures: Uri Ladabaum has served as a consultant for Endosphere. No other potential conflicts of interest exist

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Trends in average body-mass index (BMI) in U.S. adults, 1988-2010. (A) Trends in women, by age-group. (B) Trends in men, by age-group. (C) Trends in women, by racial/ethnic group. (D) Trends in men, by racial/ethnic group.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Trends in average waist circumference in U.S. adults, 1988-2010. (A) Trends in women, by age-group. (B) Trends in men, by age-group. (C) Trends in women, by racial/ethnic group. (D) Trends in men, by racial/ethnic group.

Comment in

  • Move more, eat less: it's time for Americans to get serious about exercise.
    Powers Hannley P. Powers Hannley P. Am J Med. 2014 Aug;127(8):681-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.05.026. Epub 2014 Jun 6. Am J Med. 2014. PMID: 24909130 No abstract available.
  • A candid discussion of obesity.
    Doroghazi RM. Doroghazi RM. Am J Med. 2015 Mar;128(3):213-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.09.024. Epub 2014 Oct 15. Am J Med. 2015. PMID: 25447622 No abstract available.
  • An unjustified conclusion from self-report-based estimates of energy intake.
    Levitsky DA, Brown AW, Hansen BC, Atkinson RL, Byrne N, Cheskin LJ, Allison DB. Levitsky DA, et al. Am J Med. 2014 Dec;127(12):e33. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.08.029. Am J Med. 2014. PMID: 25481208 No abstract available.
  • The reply.
    Ladabaum U, Mannalithara A, Myer PA, Singh G. Ladabaum U, et al. Am J Med. 2014 Dec;127(12):e35. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.09.007. Am J Med. 2014. PMID: 25481209 No abstract available.
  • Trends in physical inactivity.
    Bassett DR, Lee IM. Bassett DR, et al. Am J Med. 2015 May;128(5):e21. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.12.019. Am J Med. 2015. PMID: 25918925 No abstract available.
  • The reply.
    Ladabaum U, Mannalithara A, Myer PA, Singh G. Ladabaum U, et al. Am J Med. 2015 May;128(5):e23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.01.011. Am J Med. 2015. PMID: 25918926 No abstract available.

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