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This Week in JAMA
October 9, 2002

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 2002;288(14):1689. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1689

Two reports from the National Center for Health Statistics update data on the prevalence of obesity and overweight in the United States using measured weights and heights obtained during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted in 1999 and 2000. Flegal and colleagues report that the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30) among US adults increased from 22.9% in 1988-1994 (NHANES III) to 30.5% in 1999-2000. Ogden and colleagues report that the prevalence of overweight among US children (≥95th percentile of sex-specific BMI for age) increased in 1999-2000 compared with 1988-1994. Prevalence of overweight in 1999-2000 was 15.5% among 12- through 19-year-olds, 15.3% among 6- through 11-year-olds, and 10.4% among 2- through 5-year-olds. In another article in this issue of THE JOURNAL, Freedman and colleagues, using self-reported weights and heights obtained in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of US adults conducted between 1990 and 2000, found that the prevalence of class 3 obesity (BMI ≥40) increased from 0.8% in 1990 to 2.2% in 2000.