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No sign of improvement in US eating habits

14-Sep-2001

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that the decade of the 90's witnessed a dramatic increase in diabetes and obesity in the United States, and at the same time, Americans showed little improvement in eating habits or increasing their physical activity.



In a study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), CDC found a 61 per cent increase in the number of Americans who are obese from 1991 to 2000 (12.0 to 19.8 per cent), and a 49 per cent increase in the number of Americans who have diabetes from 1990 to 2000 (4.9 to 7.3 per cent).



Especially dramatic are the one-year increases CDC observed for both obesity and diabetes. Between 1999 and 2000, diabetes increased from 6.9 to 7.3 per cent and obesity jumped from 18.9 to 19.8 per cent.



In addition, 27.3 per cent of Americans did not engage in any physical activity during the 1990s and only about a quarter of Americans consumed the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.



The data in the report were taken from Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-base survey that collects information from adults aged 18 years and older.



"Our findings were striking," said Ali Mokdad, PhD, a CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the JAMA article. "Both obesity and diabetes are preventable and yet more than 60 per cent of Americans are overweight or obese, and about 15 million Americans aged 18 years or older had diagnosed diabetes in 2000," Mokdad said.

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