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Obesity was first identified as an issue of significant public policy concern in the late 1990s, after which US obesity rates continued to grow. Now, more than one-third of adult Americans are obese or extremely obese while a further one-third or more are overweight; in addition, one-third of American children are at least overweight, and about one-sixth are obese. In this chapter we document the obesity status of the nation and its genesis over the past 50 years. We review various concepts and measures of obesity, including the conventional BMI and alternatives. Then, using the BMI, we review the patterns of US obesity for adults and children over time, disaggregated spatially and among various sociodemographic groups.
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- Obesity in America
Julian M. Alston
Abigail M. Okrent
- Palgrave Macmillan US
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