Is the epidemic slowing?


The rise of U.S. obesity rates has slowed in recent years, but the rates appear to be falling only among one group — very young children. The annual bill for treating illnesses related to being overweight or obese climbed nearly 80 percent over the last decade, and the American Medical Association now considers obesity a disease — a change anti-obesity advocates hope will affect health care and public health policy. Several states and localities are taking steps to fight obesity, such as including walking and bike paths in transportation plans and requiring restaurants to post nutrition information. But public-health advocates say a more comprehensive approach is needed. Meanwhile, as some people adopt healthier eating patterns to fight obesity, tens of thousands of American adults are choosing surgical interventions for chronic obesity.

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