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Abdominal obesity still on the rise

Abdominal obesity
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(NaturalNews) Many believe that the increase in nationwide obesity has actually started to decrease or at least level off. This common belief may be rooted in data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that looked at obesity levels in the United States via body mass index from 2003-2004 all the way to 2011-2012. This data found that the body mass index did not change during that time period, causing many people to think that obesity therefore also did not increase, which would be a truly great thing.

But recently, it was determined that the average waist circumference (a simple measure of total abdominal body fat) in the United States increased from 1999 to 2012, indicating that abdominal obesity has actually increased instead of leveling off.

The Study

The study, which was published in JAMA, looked at data (over 32,800 participants) from NHANES from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012 (2-year cycles). The study determined that abdominal obesity has continued to actually increase in the past couple of years. Previously, the prevalence of abdominal obesity was not known after 2008.

For the study, individuals were considered obese if their waist circumference was greater than 34.6 inches in women (non-pregnant women) and 40.2 inches in men. The study found that abdominal obesity increased significantly from 46.4% to 54.2% over that time period. Likewise, there was an increase in abdominal obesity in women (55.4 up to 64.7%) and men (37.1 up to 43.5%).

The authors speculated why abdominal obesity may be increasing compared to body mass index: "The reasons for increases in waist circumference in excess of what would be expected from changes in BMI remain speculative, but several factors, including sleep deprivation, endocrine disruptors, and certain medications, have been proposed as potential explanations."

Fighting Obesity

From probiotics and complex exercise routines to correcting hormone imbalances, there are so many opinions out there about how to induce weight loss. While those may be helpful (especially correcting hormone imbalances if that is the case) weight loss all boils down to creating a calorie deficit. You want to burn (naturally and via exercise) more calories than you consume. Even a very small, gentle calorie deficit of 100 calories a day equals 36,500 calories saved a year or 10.4 pounds' worth of calories a year (with all other factors hypothetically remaining the same)!

Creating a small, sustainable calorie deficit per day can be achieved via nutrition (e.g., cut out sugary drinks, swap processed snacks for fruits, eat more veggies) and living an active lifestyle (World Health Organization recommends getting at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week). It doesn't have to be incredibly hard to create a small calorie deficit (easier said then done). Make it fit your lifestyle, make it sustainable and then have patience!


Although it once appeared that we were getting a grip on the obesity epidemic, this study indicated that abdominal obesity continued to increase over the last couple of years. The authors of the abdominal obesity study indicated that it is important for physicians to routinely monitor waist circumference to get a better understanding of obesity: "Our results support the routine measurement of waist circumference in clinical care consistent with current recommendations as a key step in initiating the prevention, control, and management of obesity among patients."






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