Slower growth in obesity rate could be sign policies are working

June 19, 2013
by Rich Daly
Modern Healthcare

Obesity is still rising, but at a slower pace, which some experts say may be a sign people are finally responding to a smattering of policy initiatives and an outpouring of national concern about its long-term impact on healthcare spending.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday that the adult obesity rate ticked up slightly to 28.9% in 2012. The 0.2% increase from the 2011 rate was the slowest rise in adult obesity since 2003. 

“We're getting close to being able to start turning back the obesity epidemic but there's still a lot of work to be done,” Richard Hamburg, deputy director of the Trust for America's Health, said about the new CDC figures.

The adult rate of obesity has increased nearly every year over the last 15 years, according to the CDC data, rising from 19.4% in 1997 to 28.9% in 2012. First lady Michelle Obama has made fighting childhood obesity a centerpiece of her time in the White House.

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