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April 2007, Vol. 130, No. 4
Household food expenditure patterns: a cluster analysis
Jessie X. Fan, Barbara B. Brown, Lori Kowaleski-Jones, Ken R. Smith, and Cathleen D. Zick
The 2001 report titled "The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity" identified overweight and obesity as major public health problems, costing U.S. society as much as $117 billion a year and posing as great a threat of death as poverty, smoking, or problem drinking.1 As a first step in screening for overweight and obesity, "Body Mass Index" (BMI) is calculated using a person’s weight and height, and this number is viewed as being a reliable indicator of body fat for most people.2
The percentage of the U.S. population defined as obese (a BMI greater than 30) or overweight (a BMI greater than 25) has been rising in the past decade. Data from the 1999–2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that 65 percent of U.S. adults ages 20–74 were overweight or obese. This is a substantial increase from the 56 percent estimated from the 1988–1994 NHANES and the 47 percent estimated from the 1976–1980 NHANES.3
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1 The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity (Washington, DC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001); on the Internet at www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/CalltoAction.pdf (visited Apr. 28, 2007).
2 BMI—Body Mass Index (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007); on the Internet at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/BMI/index.htm (visited Apr. 28, 2007).
3 K. M. Flegal, M. D. Carroll, et al., "Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among U.S. Adults, 1999–2000," Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 9, 2002, pp. 1723–27; A. A. Hedley, C. L. Ogden, et al., "Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among U.S. Children, Adolescents, and Adults, 1999–2002," Journal of the American Medical Association, June 16, 2004, pp. 2847–50; and Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Adults: United States, 1999–2002 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, 2005), on the Internet at www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/obese/obse99.htm (visited Apr. 29, 2007).
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