America has a big problem. A new study suggests that the number of people in the Nation that are 100 pounds or more overweight is growing rapidly, and much faster than the number of people who are described as being only moderately overweight.
The study, conducted by the RAND Corporation, found that from 2000 to 2010, the proportion of Americans who were severely obese rose from 3.9 percent of the population to 6.6 percent. That’s a nearly 70 percent increase.
More than 15 million adult Americans are morbidly obese and have a body mass index of 40 or higher. But the good news is that American weight gain appears to have reached a sort of plateau and is slowing mildly. For all levels of obesity, the increases were fastest among age groups younger than 40.
“The proportion of people at the high end of the weight scale continues to increase faster than any other group of obese people, despite increased public attention on the risks of obesity,” said Roland Sturm, lead author of the report and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “But for the first time in the past 20 years there is evidence the trend is slowing.”