The rates of both obesity and diabetes in the United States have grown by 50 percent or more over the last decade, and the increase seems to be accelerating, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the study, the proportion of Americans who are obese -- 30 to 50 pounds overweight, depending on height -- rose from 12 percent in 1991 to 19.8 percent in 2000. Over the same period, the proportion who are diabetic increased from 4.9 percent to 7.3 percent.
Between 1999 and 2000 alone, the proportion of obese Americans increased from 18.9 percent to 19.8 percent and the incidence of diabetes rose from 6.9 percent to 7.3 percent, indicating that the growth rate of both problems is accelerating, the researchers said.
The findings are being published in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The trend is particularly disturbing in children, researchers noted. Two decades ago, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children was only 3 percent to 5 percent. Now it's 25 percent to 30 percent, said Dr. Dan Cooper of the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine.
Some of those factors leading to the increase include growing consumption of fast food, the increased prevalence of video games and other indoor activities, and the inability of many children to play safely outdoors in their neighborhoods.
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