Americans’ Belly Fat Booming
The obesity epidemic may be leveling off, but more Americans are carrying fat around the middle—the most dangerous kind of obesity. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, published in JAMA, says the rate of adult abdominal obesity has shot up from 46% in 1999-2000 to 54%. Abdominal obesity is defined as a waist size of more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches or more for men. During the 12-year span of the study, women’s average waist size expanded two inches to 38 inches and men added an inch, to 40 inches.
People with excess belly fat—“apple”-shaped—are at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than those who carry fat around the hips, thighs or buttocks (“pear”-shaped).