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US women may be winning fat battle -study

Written by: Staff

CHICAGO, Apr 5 (Reuters) Obesity continues to spread among adult American males and children but there are indications the problem may have leveled off for adult women, according to a study.

The reading was based on a look at a representative sample of more than 8,000 adults and children whose weight was checked in 2003 and 2004, and compared to a similar sample taken beginning in 1999.

Researchers at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said they found obesity among men increased from 27.5 per cent of the population in the earlier measurement to 31.1 per cent. But no significant increase was observed in women who remained at about the 33 per cent level.

For female children and adolescents the level of obesity increased to 16 per cent from 13.8 per cent, while the reading for male children and adolescents went to 18.2 per cent from 14 per cent.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, did not speculate on why the problem may have leveled off among women.

Obesity for children and adolescents was defined as weight at or above the 95th percentile as measured by body mass index, a formula which uses height and weight. For adults obesity was defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, a level considered unhealthy and one that puts people at risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Reuters SI GC0851

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