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January 19, 2010 / Katie

Obesity is the epidemic that never was

That is, according to this fabulous article from Cato.

Some quotes:

Both studies are based on information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007-08, which is a representative sample of the American population. The survey measured the heights and weights of 3,281 children and adolescents and 219 infants and toddlers, as well as 5,555 adult women and men. The study of children and adolescents looked at the body mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents over five time periods between 1999 and 2008, the decade during which child obesity was widely described as America’s preeminent public health problem.

Comparing the results of the survey for 2007 with those of 2004, there have been either declines or no significant changes in male prevalence of overweight and obesity in all age groups from 16-54. As for children, the survey finds: “There was no significant change in mean BMI overweight/obesity prevalence between 2006 and 2007, and there are indications that the trend in obesity prevalence may have begun to flatten out over the last two to three years.”

That obesity rates are not “skyrocketing” is something that many of us in the FA movement were already aware of, or at least strongly suspected, but these studies provide a very strong chink in the wall of misinformation about obesity that alienates and estranges us from society.

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