Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More evidence of flat obesity trends(?)

The release of the NHANES data is an biennial event, and I wrote about it in 2010 too. This year, the same picture has emerged, as summarized by NPR, of obesity rates based on BMI that are not statistically distinguishable from recent earlier rates.

Here's a time series plot of the obesity rates, meaning a BMI ≥ 30, and (in recent years) their 95% confidence intervals.  The sources are Flegal et al. (JAMA 2002, 2010, 2012), Ogden et al. (JAMA 2006). For the 2005-2006 data, I averaged male and female data from Tables 4 and 5 in Flegal et al. (JAMA 2010).

Does this picture make it appear that obesity prevalence is slowing down?