Physical activity increases while obesity rates level off

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 17, 2007

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The percentage of adults participating in regular physical activity went up, and obesity rates have flattened, according to a pair of publications issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month.

With regard to exercise, an analysis of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System published in the Nov. 23 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that the proportion of women active on a regular basis went from 43% in 2001 to 46.7% in 2005. The percentage of men routinely exercising increased from 48% to 49.7% for those years.

A second report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, compiling numbers from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that the percentage of adults who can be classified as obese did not change significantly from the 2003-04 and 2005-06 periods. This number stayed steady at 34% of adults after increasing consistently for a quarter century.

Public health officials expressed concern because the physical activity rates are still low, and obesity rates are still high.

"CDC has made the prevention of obesity one of its top priorities," said Janet Collins, PhD, director of the health agency's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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