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.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.