U.S. Waistlines Are Growing
In national examination surveys of 32,816 adult men and women, researchers learned that America’s middles have continued to grow—even as obesity rates have leveled off. “Abdominal obesity,” defined as a waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women, rose in the population from 46 percent in 1999–2000 to 54 percent in 2011–12. The largest increases were seen among middle-aged women and younger African American and Mexican American men. Increased waist size is associated with heart problems, diabetes, and death. Researchers say waistlines may be expanding because of overall body fat redistribution or a shift from muscle to fat.
Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association, published online Sept. 17, 2014