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Theme overview: Addressing the obesity challenge

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.


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