Roundup: 'Severe Obesity' Rate Among U.S. Children Rising; Mediterranean Diet Lowers Heart Attack, Stroke Risk, Study Says

There is no evidence of a decrease in the prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S., despite recent studies suggesting such a decline, according to new research published this week in Obesity, the scientific journal of The Obesity Society.

In fact, the new study contradicts research published two years ago that found a large drop in obesity rates among toddlers, ages 2 to 5. The decline was hailed as the potential beginning of a reversal in U.S. child obesity.

The newest research published this week finds that among children, from infancy through age 18, rates of obesity have increased steadily from 1999 to 2014, and the number of children with the severest forms of obesity has risen most dramatically.

About a third — 33.4 percent of American children in 2014 — were overweight, while just over half of those kids — or 17.4 percent of all children — weighed in as obese (defined as being at or above the 95th percentile of height and weight on age- and gender-specific growth charts.) About a third of obese kids (or 6.2 percent of all U.S. children) are considered to have severe obesity

“The authors’ observation that severe obesity has increased is of great concern, especially because children with severe obesity become adults with severe obesity,” said William Dietz, M.D., director and chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Dr. Dietz wrote a commentary accompanying the new study.

The authors of the current study, researchers at Duke University, University of North Carolina and Wake-Forest University, found that 4.5 million U.S. children and adolescents are now considered severely obese. They will need “novel and intensive efforts for long-term obesity improvement,” the researchers wrote.

Related articles:


Mediterranean Diet Lowers Heart Attack, Stroke Risk, New Study Says

New research affirms previous findings that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and unrefined foods is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, especially in people with underlying risk factors.

The so-called Mediterranean diet stresses plant-based foods, whole grains, legumes and nuts, while limiting consumption of red meat.

The current study reviewed more than 15,000 people in 39 countries. All participants had “stable” heart disease risk facts, with the average age at 67. Researchers examined their dietary habits, determining how frequently they consumed servings of meat, fish, dairy, whole grains or refined grains, vegetables, fruit, desserts, sweets, sugary drinks, deep-fried foods and alcohol. The researchers then followed up about four years later to see how many participants had suffered a major cardiovascular event, such as heart attack, stroke or death.

The results of the study published Sunday in the European Heart Journal: For every 100 people who ate the highest amount of healthy Mediterranean diet foods, there were three fewer heart attacks, strokes or deaths, compared with 100 people who ate the least amount of healthy foods.

“Greater consumption of healthy foods may be more important for secondary prevention of coronary artery disease than avoidance of less healthy foods typical of Western diets,” researchers concluded.

Related articles:

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

Language Preference / Preferencia de idioma

I want to see the site in English

Continue In English

Quiero ver el sitio en Español

Continuar en español