Obesity Study

New CDC Study Finds No Increase in Obesity Among Adults; But Levels Still High

For Immediate Release: November 28, 2007

Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics Office of Communication (301) 458-4800E-mail: nchsquery@cdc.gov

Obesity Among Adults in the United States--No Change Since 2003-2004. Data Brief Number
1, November 2007. 8 pp.

After a quarter century of increases, obesity prevalence has not measurably increased in the past few years but levels are still high –- at 34 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over, according to a new study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, "Obesity Among Adults in the United States -- No Change Since 2003-2004," is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Obesity rates have increased over the past 25 years. Among men, there was an increase in obesity prevalence between 1999 and 2006. However, there was no significant change in obesity prevalence between 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 for either men or women.

"Since 1999, there appears to have been a leveling off in obesity among women, but the trend is less clear among men. We do know however that the gap between men and women has narrowed in recent years, with men catching up to the higher rates among women," said Cynthia Ogden, a CDC researcher and lead author of the study.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

The study found:
More than one-third of U.S. adults -– over 72 million people -- were obese in 2005-2006. This includes 33.3 percent of men and 35.3 percent of women. The figures show no statistically significant change from 2003-2004, when 31.1 percent of men were obese and 33.2 percent of women were obese.

Adults aged 40-59 had the highest obesity prevalence compared with other age groups. Approximately 40 percent of men in this age group were obese, compared with 28 percent of men aged 20-39, and 32 percent of men aged 60 and older. Among women, 41 percent of those aged 40-59 were obese compared with 30.5 percent of women aged 20-39. Women aged 65 and older had obesity prevalence rates comparable with women in the 20 to 39 age group.

There were large race-ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence among women. Approximately 53 percent of non-Hispanic black women and 51 percent of Mexican-American women aged 40-59 were obese compared with about 39 percent of non-Hispanic white women of the same age. Among women 60 and older, 61 percent of non-Hispanic black women were obese compared with 37 percent of Mexican-American women and 32 percent of non-Hispanic white women.
"In view of these alarmingly high rates of obesity in all population groups, CDC has made the prevention of obesity one of its top public health priorities," said Janet Collins, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "We are actively working in partnership with state and local public health agencies, the Nation’s schools, community organizations, businesses, medical systems, and faith communities to promote and support healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy weight."


Pedometer gets people up and walking
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My workplace has made an investment and a push for all of the employees to use a pedometer. The hope is that it will increase our activity level and lead to health benefits. Is there any value in such a program?

A pedometer is a pager-sized device that counts the number of steps walked per day. The device is most commonly worn on the belt. By entering the length of your walking stride, the pedometer also can calculate your daily distance.

Pedometers have become very popular to use as both a motivator and measure of exercise. These step devices also are being more commonly integrated into other consumer devices, such as mobile phones and music players.

In the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, there was an excellent review of 26 studies looking at the effectiveness of pedometers on increasing physical activity and improving health.

The conclusion was that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.
A closer look at the studies showed that the use of a pedometer led, on average, to an additional 2,000 steps per day (about 1 mile of walking). Setting a step goal and keeping a daily step diary were key motivators.

The most common recommended goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day. For additional health benefits, perform at least 3,000 of these steps at a fast pace.

To avoid injury, everyone should slowly work up to a goal of 10,000 steps. Most people normally walk only between 900 to 3,000 steps per day. An example of a slowly progressive walking program is to increase your daily steps by 500 every two weeks until reaching the goal of 10,000 steps per day.

There are many walking programs that can be found on the Internet. These programs allow you to keep track of your daily walking and monitor your progress.
Some pedometers also calculate the number of calories burned. Be aware that these numbers are often inaccurate.

Exercise and increasing physical activity is one of the most powerful "medications" we have to prevent and improve numerous health conditions. We should all strive to exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Workplace exercise interventions seem to work best when targeted at sedentary employees.
Don't forget to wear a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers. Also, consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Hope to see you all out there ... walking.

Write to Dr. Dennis Cardone at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Family Medicine, 1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, N.J. 08903. Or e-mail him at askthedoc@umdnj.edu.

Prostate Cancer Study

Prostate Cancer Death Risk Higher In Obese Or Overweight Men
Featured ArticleMain Category:
Prostate / Prostate Cancer News
Article Date: 13 Nov 2007 - 3:00 PSTA

US study found that men who are obese or overweight when diagnosed with prostate cancer have a higher risk of death after treatment.The study was conducted by Dr Jason Efstathiou of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues and was published online ahead of print on 12th November in the journal Cancer.Efstathiou and co-authors found that men with a BMI of 25 or more at the time of diagnosis were nearly twice as likely to die from locally advanced prostate cancer as men with a lower BMI. BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and is equal to the ratio of one's weight in kilos to one's height in metres, squared. For a man, a BMI under 25 is considered normal, 25 to under 30 is overweight, and 30 or more is obese.Estimates from the American Cancer Society suggest that over 218,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and the disease will kill 27,000. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, lung cancer being the first.Obesity is a known risk factor for clinically aggressive prostate cancer, but there is less evidence about the impact of weight on survival after treatment, hence this study.Treatments for prostate cancer include: surgical removal of the prostate gland, external beam radiation, and hormone treatment.For the study, the researchers used data from a phase 3 trial involving 945 men with locally advanced prostated cancer who were enrolled between 1987 and 1992 and randomized to receive either radiation therapy and immediate hormone therapy (using goserelin, a GnRH agonist that stops the production of sex hormones), or radiation therapy followed by hormone therapy at recurrence.They were able to get initial height and weight data for 788 of the patients and follow them for 8 years. This was the first large randomized prospective study with such a long follow up after treatment that looks at the link between BMI and death risk in men treated with radiation therapy and hormone (androgen deprivation) therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer.Efstathiou and colleagues used regression analysis to find any statistically significant links between BMI and death risk from any cause, from prostate cancer-specific causes, and non-prostate cancer causes. Variables available, apart from BMI included: age, race, treatment arm, history of prostatectomy, nodes involved, Gleason score (a prognosis indicator), and clinical stage of the cancer.The results showed that:
Being overweight or obese at time of diagnosis was an independent risk factor for death from prostate cancer.
Men with a BMI between 25 and under 30 (overweight) at the time of diagnosis were more than 1.5 times more likely to die from the cancer than men with normal BMI (i.e. lower than 25).
Men with a BMI of 30 or over (obese) were 1.6 times more likely to die from the disease compared to men with normal BMI.
After 5 years, men with BMI under 25 had a prostate cancer specific mortality rate of 6.5 per cent.
This compared to 13.1 per cent for men with a BMI of 25 to under 30 (overweight) and 12.2 per cent for men with BMI of 30 or more (obese).
BMI was not linked to non-prostate cancer mortality or mortality due to all causes.
Efstathiou and colleagues concluded that the study supported others reporting similar links between overweight or obesity and disease-related death rates:"Greater baseline BMI is independently associated with higher PCSM [prostate cancer specific mortality] in men with locally advanced prostate cancer."They called for further studies to find the mechanisms involved and to establish whether losing weight after being diagnosed affects outcomes and survival."Obesity and mortality in men with locally advanced prostate cancer."Jason A. Efstathiou, Kyounghwa Bae, William U. Shipley, Gerald E. Hanks, Miljenko V. Pilepich, Howard M. Sandler, Matthew R. Smith.Cancer Published Online: 12 Nov 2007DOI: 10.1002/cncr.23093