Nearly four in 10 adults in the U.S. are now obese, setting a new record, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.
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The agency released a new study that showed almost 40% of American adults and nearly 20% of adolescents had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater in 2015 and 2016. The adult number represents a 30% increase from a previous report in 1999-2000, while the childhood obesity rate rose roughly 34% in the same period, from 13.9% in 1999-2000 to 18% in 2015-2016.
"It's difficult to be optimistic at this point," said Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, in a statement.
"The trend of obesity has been steadily increasing in both children and adults."
One in five adolescents (ages 12–19), one in five kids (ages 6–11) and one in ten preschoolers (ages 2–5) are now considered obese, not just overweight.
The news comes on top of this week's World Health Organization report that childhood obesity is soaring around the world, increasing more than tenfold over the past four decades.