Quick Hit: Americans Are Just as Fat Now as 1999-2000

…you know, just after the BMI categories for overweight and obese were revised downwards several points, in effect making millions of Americans overweight or obese overnight.

One-Third of American Adults Are Obese, but Rate Slows

Figures from the National Center for Health Statistics showed 34% of American adults age 20 and older were obese in 2007-08 while 68% were considered overweight or obese. In children ages 2 through 19, 17% were considered obese while 32% were considered overweight. Broadly, the figures are similar to rates seen in 1999-2000.

But don’t worry, just in case you were starting to get the idea that the obesity epi-panic’s drama was largely constructed to profit a wide variety fear/hate-mongering groups and body-hate industries, the next paragraph in the piece reminds you that once again that if you’re fat, ur gonna die.

“Obesity remains high and is a significant public-health problem in the U.S.,” said Cynthia Ogden, one of the main researchers involved in tabulating the data and an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health-statistics unit.

And then, a little later on, a funny kind of quote:

“I see this as relatively good news,” said William Dietz, the director of CDC’s division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity. “It suggests we’ve halted the progression of the epidemic.”

And how is it that you’ve “halted the progression of the epidemic”? Because I certainly don’t remember all those anti-fat vaccines being offered in schools and the workplace. And I don’t remember dieting suddenly starting to work. And WLS not only doesn’t work in the majority of cases but also makes people sicker (and hence more costly from a public policy perspective). So, right. All that — stuff — we did, that uh, didn’t have any effect, well it sure has slowed/stopped the epidemic!

How about this: There was never any obesity epidemic. But there was panic. And there is still panic. So don’t think this is going to stop us from hating you and wanting to eliminate you, fattie. Because you’re still a threat.

3 comments on “Quick Hit: Americans Are Just as Fat Now as 1999-2000

  1. atchka says:

    Big Liberty,
    You should know better. I mean, in 50 years, 99% of Americans will be fat. That’s a FACT. You can’t dispute FACTS.

    I also like how the majority of the steps taken to “defeat” obesity were enacted THROUGHOUT the last decade, yet there was never an increase during that time to be counteracted. It was LEVEL.


    It really does get absurd sometimes.


  2. I am SO a threat!

    I spent a couple months digging into the NHANES statistics, IE the statistics that are at the core of the obesity epidemic. And there is this tiny little voice in my head that sometimes wonders if the first three runs of the NHANES are so biased that those statistics are just flat out wrong.

    The NHANES wasn’t intended to track fat. It’s original purpose was to track malnutrition and disease. So the NHANES I, II, and III were oversampled for children and poor people. And that is only the first item on a long list of problems I have with the methodology for the first three runs.

    But starting with the 1999 run they finally had all the kinks worked out. The survey became fairly standard. The thing is, all the statistics from the runs after 1999 show only small changes in the overweight population.

    Of course, I start talking like this and I feel like a conspiracy theorist. I try not to just ignore data becasue I don’t like the source or how it came about. For my purposes, I try to point out that two sets of information conflict, instead of saying one is just flat out wrong.

    But that’s just my personal thing.

    Anyhow. I see fat people in the mirror. That proves the panic, right?

  3. ndlesdream says:

    What really kills me is that I read countless articles on hundreds of different health-related subjects that scream bloody murder about how correlation does not equal causation, until you get to the subject of fatties. Then all bets are off and all hell breaks loose. OMG! Fatties, EEEEKKKK, run!!!! They’ll trample us with their massiveness, aghhhhhh!!! It’s absolutely insane how logic and reason go right out the damn window on this topic.

    In the same article, I’ve seen writers tear arguments supporting non-scientific “facts” that “everybody knows are true” to shreds, rage against data dredging, rain hellfire down on epidemiology, and then turn around and completely support all the bull that’s spewed about obesity. Flawed logic and flawed methodology are flawed no matter what, DUH!!!!

    But if you try and say anything at all, the least you get is a condescending, snarky note from the author about how simple and naive you are and the worst you get is completely bombarded by trolls. It’s like a lose-lose, so most of the time I just skip that part of the article, don’t bother saying anything and just leave them to their irrationality, which is probably the wrong thing to do, I should probably be trying to shine a light of knowledge and enlightenment into the dark corners of ignorance, but seriously, most days I just don’t have the energy for the backlash.

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