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JAMA. 2001 Sep 12;286(10):1195-200.

The continuing epidemics of obesity and diabetes in the United States.

Author information

  • 1Data Management Division, National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MS E62, 1600 Clifton Rd, NE, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. ahm1@cdc.gov



Recent reports show that obesity and diabetes have increased in the United States in the past decade.


To estimate the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and use of weight control strategies among US adults in 2000.


The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a random-digit telephone survey conducted in all states in 2000, with 184 450 adults aged 18 years or older.


Body mass index (BMI), calculated from self-reported weight and height; self-reported diabetes; prevalence of weight loss or maintenance attempts; and weight control strategies used.


In 2000, the prevalence of obesity (BMI >/=30 kg/m(2)) was 19.8%, the prevalence of diabetes was 7.3%, and the prevalence of both combined was 2.9%. Mississippi had the highest rates of obesity (24.3%) and of diabetes (8.8%); Colorado had the lowest rate of obesity (13.8%); and Alaska had the lowest rate of diabetes (4.4%). Twenty-seven percent of US adults did not engage in any physical activity, and another 28.2% were not regularly active. Only 24.4% of US adults consumed fruits and vegetables 5 or more times daily. Among obese participants who had had a routine checkup during the past year, 42.8% had been advised by a health care professional to lose weight. Among participants trying to lose or maintain weight, 17.5% were following recommendations to eat fewer calories and increase physical activity to more than 150 min/wk.


The prevalence of obesity and diabetes continues to increase among US adults. Interventions are needed to improve physical activity and diet in communities nationwide.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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