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      Population-Based Prevention of Obesity : The Need for Comprehensive Promotion of Healthful Eating, Physical Activity, and Energy Balance: A Scientific Statement From American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Interdisciplinary Committee for Prevention (Formerly the Expert Panel on Population and Prevention Science)

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          Abstract

          Obesity is a major influence on the development and course of cardiovascular diseases and affects physical and social functioning and quality of life. The importance of effective interventions to reduce obesity and related health risks has increased in recent decades because the number of adults and children who are obese has reached epidemic proportions. To prevent the development of overweight and obesity throughout the life course, population-based strategies that improve social and physical environmental contexts for healthful eating and physical activity are essential. Population-based approaches to obesity prevention are complementary to clinical preventive strategies and also to treatment programs for those who are already obese. This American Heart Association scientific statement aims: 1) to raise awareness of the importance of undertaking population-based initiatives specifically geared to the prevention of excess weight gain in adults and children; 2) to describe considerations for undertaking obesity prevention overall and in key risk subgroups; 3) to differentiate environmental and policy approaches to obesity prevention from those used in clinical prevention and obesity treatment; 4) to identify potential targets of environmental and policy change using an ecological model that includes multiple layers of influences on eating and physical activity across multiple societal sectors; and 5) to highlight the spectrum of potentially relevant interventions and the nature of evidence needed to inform population-based approaches. The evidence-based experience for population-wide approaches to obesity prevention is highlighted.

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          The obesity epidemic in the United States--gender, age, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and geographic characteristics: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis.

          This review of the obesity epidemic provides a comprehensive description of the current situation, time trends, and disparities across gender, age, socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic groups, and geographic regions in the United States based on national data. The authors searched studies published between 1990 and 2006. Adult overweight and obesity were defined by using body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)(2)) cutpoints of 25 and 30, respectively; childhood "at risk for overweight" and overweight were defined as the 85th and 95th percentiles of body mass index. Average annual increase in and future projections for prevalence were estimated by using linear regression models. Among adults, obesity prevalence increased from 13% to 32% between the 1960s and 2004. Currently, 66% of adults are overweight or obese; 16% of children and adolescents are overweight and 34% are at risk of overweight. Minority and low-socioeconomic-status groups are disproportionately affected at all ages. Annual increases in prevalence ranged from 0.3 to 0.9 percentage points across groups. By 2015, 75% of adults will be overweight or obese, and 41% will be obese. In conclusion, obesity has increased at an alarming rate in the United States over the past three decades. The associations of obesity with gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are complex and dynamic. Related population-based programs and policies are needed.
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            Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity.

            As the prevalence of obesity increases in the United States, concern over the association of body weight with excess mortality has also increased. To estimate deaths associated with underweight (body mass index [BMI] or =30) in the United States in 2000. We estimated relative risks of mortality associated with different levels of BMI (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) from the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I (1971-1975) and NHANES II (1976-1980), with follow-up through 1992, and from NHANES III (1988-1994), with follow-up through 2000. These relative risks were applied to the distribution of BMI and other covariates from NHANES 1999-2002 to estimate attributable fractions and number of excess deaths, adjusted for confounding factors and for effect modification by age. Number of excess deaths in 2000 associated with given BMI levels. Relative to the normal weight category (BMI 18.5 to or =30) was associated with 111,909 excess deaths (95% confidence interval [CI], 53,754-170,064) and underweight with 33,746 excess deaths (95% CI, 15,726-51,766). Overweight was not associated with excess mortality (-86,094 deaths; 95% CI, -161,223 to -10,966). The relative risks of mortality associated with obesity were lower in NHANES II and NHANES III than in NHANES I. Underweight and obesity, particularly higher levels of obesity, were associated with increased mortality relative to the normal weight category. The impact of obesity on mortality may have decreased over time, perhaps because of improvements in public health and medical care. These findings are consistent with the increases in life expectancy in the United States and the declining mortality rates from ischemic heart disease.
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              Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.

              Obesity is a major epidemic, but its causes are still unclear. In this article, we investigate the relation between the intake of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the development of obesity. We analyzed food consumption patterns by using US Department of Agriculture food consumption tables from 1967 to 2000. The consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. HFCS now represents > 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Our most conservative estimate of the consumption of HFCS indicates a daily average of 132 kcal for all Americans aged > or = 2 y, and the top 20% of consumers of caloric sweeteners ingest 316 kcal from HFCS/d. The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain. Furthermore, calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric overconsumption. Thus, the increase in consumption of HFCS has a temporal relation to the epidemic of obesity, and the overconsumption of HFCS in calorically sweetened beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Circulation
                Circulation
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0009-7322
                1524-4539
                July 22 2008
                July 22 2008
                : 118
                : 4
                : 428-464
                Article
                10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.189702
                18591433
                98004379-b712-4919-b9dc-920b6eddc69e
                © 2008
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