Underselling the Obesity Epidemic in America
May 27, 2006
The problem of obesity in the United States is much greater than the results of some official health surveys would imply, according to a new study.
States used telephone surveys to estimate obesity rates, with the result that women tended to underestimate their weight and men tended to overestimate their height.
National estimates, which are calculated using a different methodology, are likely accurate, and put about a third of U.S. adults in the obese category. However, the obesity levels determined by individual states are grossly underestimated.
Phone survey responses indicated that nearly all U.S. states had an obesity rate below 24 percent. In fact, many states have an obesity rate well above 30 percent.