• Article

Theme overview: Addressing the obesity challenge


Muth, M. (2010). Theme overview: Addressing the obesity challenge. Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, 25(3).

Increasing rates of obesity and the associated effects on health of the U.S. population are often in the news recently. Obesity is typically defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 where BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Based on self-reported height and weight data from 400,000 individuals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 27% of the U.S. population is obese with the highest rates among adults 50 to 69 years of age, non-Hispanic blacks—especially women, Hispanics, and individuals with less than a high school degree. Also, rates of obesity tend to be higher in the Midwest and South. Calculated rates of obesity using measured instead of self-reported height and weight are even higher.