Americans Keep Piling on the Pounds

Dousing hopes that America's obesity epidemic might be leveling off or reversing, new data show an alarming increase in the number of obese children and raise questions about how fat America can get."Obviously there has to be some upper limit," said lead author Cynthia Ogden, a researcher with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I just don't know where it's going to be."The number of obese and overweight men also increased, although an encouraging sign was that obesity in women remained constant at about one-third of the population aged 20 and over.At the other end of the spectrum, a separate group of researchers found that depriving people of about 25 percent of their normal calories, while still eating nutritionally balanced diets, led to physiological changes associated with increased longevity.The six-month month study involving 48 people -- the first in non-obese humans -- showed that calorie restriction led to improvements in insulin levels, a beneficial decrease of about one degree in body temperature and less DNA damage to cells.Numerous animal studies have showed that calorie restriction, which slows metabolism, can extend life span by as much as one-third. "The next phase is to look at more people for a longer time," said co-author Steven Smith, an associate professor of endocrinology at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.The national obesity study is considered one of the most credible estimates of the problem because it included actual weight and height measurements of 3,958 adolescents age 2 to 19 and 4,431 adults age 20 and over. Other surveys simply ask people for those measurements, which tend to be inaccurate.The study found that in 2003-2004, 17.1 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds were obese, up from 13.9 percent in 1999-2000 and 15.4 percent in 2001-02.The biggest increase was found in 6- to 11-year-olds, up from 15.1 percent in 1999-2000 to 18.8 percent in 2003-04.The increase in juvenile obesity is caused by a variety of factors, including television and video games, high-calorie foods such as soda that have little or no nutrition, and a family environment where overeating and a lack of exercise are the norm, said Safak Guven, an assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.Obesity in adults has been a mounting problem for nearly a quarter century. The adult obesity rate doubled between 1980 and 2002. In the latest study, overall adult obesity increased from 30.6 percent in 2001-02 to 32.2 percent in 2003-04, but nearly all the increase was in men whose rate increased from 27.8 percent to 31.1 percent during that period.For women, the obesity rate went from 33.3 percent to 33.2 percent. REACTION : Obesity among Americans is increasing especially among men is alarming due to theirInability to engaged themselves to more active lifestyle .Even among the teenagers who prefers To be in front of a computer rather than to be joining sports related activities and eating unhealthy food which is considered to be junk.