Some moderately depressing news on the obesity front: data from the latest national survey found that US obesity rates crept up again, to 26.7 percent. That’s 27.4 percent among men, 26.0 percent among women.
But what’s especially depressing is that the real obesity rate in the US is probably much higher than this. The figures above come from a telephone survey. But a different national study, in which people’s actual height and weight were measured directly, found obesity rates of 33.8 percent (33.2 percent among men, and 35.5 percent among women). That’s over a quarter higher than what the telephone survey found.
But in other slightly more optimistic food news, USDA is now reporting that US food consumption per capita peaked in 2002. As the chart to the right shows, there’s been a modest decline since then: as of 2008, we were eating a bit less than we did in 2000. Still, we eat a heckuva lot more than we did 40 years ago, and most of the extra calories come from oil, sweeteners, and grains. In short, junk.