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CDC Offers Slideshow on Obesity Trends in U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control offers a free set of Power Point slides on the topic of obesity trends in the U.S. from 1985 to 2000. This slide set -- even when only four or five are used -- is a very effective, dramatic presentation of the consequences (and magnitude) of the physical inactivity/obesity problem and really wows the audience. As the authors say, "During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. Currently, more than half of all U.S. adults are considered overweight, defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more. These data were derived from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a random-digit telephone survey conducted by the CDC and state health departments.

"In 1985, while only a handful of states were participating in CDC's BRFSS, none fell into the highest two categories of obesity prevalence. No BRFSS participating states had an obesity rate greater than 14%. By the year 2000, data were available for all 50 states, revealing 49 states as falling within the highest two categories of obesity (i.e., 27 states having 15-19% obesity; 22 states having a population rate of 20% obesity or more). As the obesity epidemic spread, the prevalence of overweight among U.S. adults increased by 61% from 1991 to 2000 alone."

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