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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1995 Mar;19(3):149-53.

Can the Year 2000 objective for reducing overweight in the United States be reached?: a simulation study of the required changes in body weight.

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  • 1Office of Biostatistics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912-4900, USA.



The purpose of this analysis was to estimate the magnitude of weight change required in the six-year period between 1994 and the Year 2000 if Americans are to reach the Healthy People 2000 goal for reduction of overweight among those ages 20-74 to no more than 20% among all adults and no more than 30% among black women. Prevention of weight gain among the non-overweight is compared with that of weight loss among the overweight as strategies for reaching this goal.


Data from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) and the Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (NHEFS) were used to estimate 6-year weight change of persons aged 20 to 72 at the Year 2000. Men, white women, and black women were examined in addition to the overall population. Given a baseline prevalence of 24.7%, overweight in the year 2000 was projected for three simulated interventions: no weight gain among non-overweight persons (prevention-only), weight loss among overweight persons (weight-loss-only), and prevention-plus-weight-loss. In addition, the Year 2000 overweight prevalence was projected under different baseline prevalence scenarios of 26% and 34%.


Prevalence of overweight; overweight determined by body mass index (> or = 27.3 kg/m2 for women and > or = 27.8 kg/m2 for men).


Prevention-only was successful in reducing the overall prevalence of overweight from 24.7% to 20%. Weight-loss-only required a 5.3 kg weight loss to achieve the overall goal of 20% and 8.4 kg weight loss to achieve the goal within all three race-sex strata. Prevention-plus-weight-loss required only 3.8 kg of weight loss to achieve the goals within the three race-sex strata. Prevention-only was not successful in reducing the overall prevalence of overweight to 20% when the 26% and 34% baseline scenarios were used. Weight-loss-only required 6.3 and 11.2 kg; prevention-plus-weight-loss required 1.2 and 6.6 kg of weight loss using the 26% and 34% baselines, respectively.


Prevention of weight gain among those who are not already overweight could achieve substantial changes in the prevalence of overweight, even in a 6-year time period. However, given the increasing trend in overweight, the Year 2000 goal for the reduction in prevalence of overweight will not be reached.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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