Overweight Americans Struggling With Losing Weight

A study shows that only a few Americans who have been overweight or obese are able to lose excess weight and then maintain the loss. According to researchers from Penn State College of Medicine, only one in every six Americans who are obese or overweight is quite successful in losing weight and then keeping it off.

About two thirds of the adult population in America are considered overweight which is considered as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 25, or obese with a BMI of 30. Obesity rates in the country has doubled between 1980 and 2004 which also seen an increase of risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Expert advice is that overweight or obese individuals lose at least 5 to 10 percent of their initial body weight.

Penn State College of Medicine researchers analyzed data coming from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that spanned from 1999 to 2006. It comprises a national survey that evaluates the health and nutrition of a representative portion of the US population. The participants in the survey self-reported their weight status and history.

The researchers calculated BMI for each individual and checked the percentage of the participants who achieved 5,10,15 or 20 percent long term weight loss maintenance. The sample used is composed of 14,306 individuals, with 52.3 percent men and 47.7 percent of them women. Of the sample, 82.6 percent were considered as overweight or obese.

Results showed that 36 percent of the sample maintained a weight loss of at least 5 percent of their initial body weight. The sample also showed that women, adults with ages 75 to 84 years old, non-Hispanic whites and those with less than a high school education tend to show stronger and longer-term weight management practices.

Source: Penn State. “Americans Struggle With Long-Term Weight Loss.” ScienceDaily 5 September 2010. 8 September 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.comĀ­ /releases/2010/09/100903104830.htm>


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