Americans are starting to lose weight

October 22, 2003 in Food Companies, Manufacturing and Trends, Nutrition Topics in the News

Americans are starting to lose weight

Americans plagued by obesity and other unhealthy trends have actually lost weight for the first time in six years, according to a new study.

Fifty-five percent of the U.S. population was overweight for the 52 weeks ended in February, down slightly from 56 percent the prior year. The researchers said, “people are interested in a balanced diet; they ate more fruits and vegetables last year than the year before and snacked less in the evening."

The study, Annual Eating Patterns in America, tracked the body mass index (BMI) of 5,000 adults, among other trends, including what foods people are eating and where they purchase them. BMI is a measure of body weight in relation to height. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, while one of 30 or greater is obese. An acceptable range is 20 to 25.

The study found that 35% of the U.S. population said they carefully plan their meals to be nutritious, up from 32% in 2001. Americans also report they are exercising more, the study found, with 66% indicating they were strenuously exercising at least once a week. That's up from 63% in 2002.

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