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October 9, 2002

Obesity ResearchA Call for Papers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Fontanarosa is Executive Deputy Editor, JAMA, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 2002;288(14):1772-1773. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1772

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, 2 important reports1,2 from the National Center for Health Statistics provide disquieting news about the increasing epidemic of obesity and overweight. Using data from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Flegal et al1 document that the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity (body mass index [BMI] >30) among US adults is 30.5%, whereas Ogden et al2 report that for US children, the prevalence of overweight (BMI ≥95th percentile for age-growth charts) is 15.5% among 12- to 19-year-olds, 15.3% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 10.4% among 2- to 5-year-olds.2 These findings, based on measured height and weight, document substantial increases in obesity and overweight over the past decade in virtually every population subgroup examined. In another article in this issue, Freedman et al,3 using self-reported data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, show that the prevalence of class 3 obesity (BMI ≥40) among adults has more than doubled in 10 years, with an estimated prevalence of 2.2% in the year 2000.

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