Americans aren't just fat, they're getting fatter, according to a government study that finds about one in every three adults is now obese and nearly two-thirds are overweight in the United States.
The number of overweight and obese in the nation continues to climb at a steady rate despite the fact that Americans spend $34 billion annually on various diet products, from sugar-free sodas and weight-loss supplements to diet programs, according to the study. From 1999 to 2000, the number of overweight adults rose from 56 percent to 65 percent of the population, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or higher -- for example, a 5-foot-6-inch person who weighs 160 pounds or more.)
While waistlines are increasing across the board, the study shows that some groups are getting fatter faster than others. Among women, for example, more than half of black women aged 40 and older are obese and more than 80 percent are overweight.
The findings suggest that "we are totally losing the battle to prevent and treat obesity," said George Blackburn, director of the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine at Harvard University.
Also troubling is the rise in extreme obesity, according to the study on obesity published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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