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October 27, 1999

Caloric Imbalance and Public Health Policy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (Dr Dietz), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr Koplan), Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1999;282(16):1579-1581. doi:10.1001/jama.282.16.1579

Obesity is epidemic in the United States. More than 50% of US adults are now overweight, based on a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or more.1 Furthermore, 22% of the US adult population is obese, based on a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more, equivalent to approximately 13.5 kg (30 lb) overweight. Three percent of US adults have a BMI of 40 kg/m2 or more, which represents a weight excess of approximately 45 kg (100 lb). Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionally affected. As the study by Mokdad and colleagues in this issue of THE JOURNAL2 clearly demonstrates, the increase in the prevalence of obesity has been rapid. No area of the country has been spared.

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