HOW FAT IS AMERICA? RESEARCH REVEALS MANY AMERICANS ARE ‘OVERFAT,’
NOT JUST OVERWEIGHT
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ — Diet Center Inc. today announced results of one of the first national studies to examine body fat levels instead of body weight as a measure of obesity in the American population. The study determines that the average American adult body is about 25 percent fat. The study also shows that 50 percent of women, in particular, could be defined as “overfat.”
The average level of body fat is 31 percent for women and 19 percent for men. Though women naturally have higher fat levels than men, the female average is running higher than optimal, according to Andrew Jackson, Ph.D., from the University of Houston, a researcher of the Diet Center study and a prominent expert on obesity measurement. The other researchers were John Stanton, Ph.D., and Debra Keast, M.S., both from St. Joseph’s University, and David Canty, M.S., from New York University.
To understand the implications of the research results, the percentages can be compared to weight measurement. For instance, a 130- pound woman with 31 percent body fat is carrying approximately 40 pounds in fat. Considering adults of any age, an optimal body fat range for women would be from 15-29 percent and 11-25 percent for men, according to Jackson. Yet the research shows 50 percent of all women are fatter than that range, with 31 percent body fat.
In 1985, the National Institutes of Health declared obesity a disease and estimated that 25 percent of Americans are obese by weight measurement. Most large studies of obesity rely on weight and height measurements. However, the Surgeon General’s report and most other experts on obesity agree that the most ideal way to measure obesity is in terms of body fat, not body weight.
“Diet Center became dedicated to helping people measure body fat within the past few years. At this point, our technology has moved ahead of the commercial weight-loss industry. In fact, the measurement of body fat in large-scale studies is so new that there were no substantial statistics to set the scale for where Americans are and where they should be. That’s the key reason Diet Center commissioned this research,” said Dennis Brown, president and chief executive officer of Diet Center.
Diet Center’s study also estimates that the top 15 percent of Americans by body weight average 32 percent body fat (women: 39; men: 25), while the top 5 percent of Americans in body weight average 38 percent body fat (women: 44, men: 30).
“We believe this study is an important step in understanding the true goal in weight management — not to lose weight, but fat,” said Claire Boasi, E.d., M.S., R.D., vice president of scientific affairs at Diet Center.
Diet Center is currently rolling out its new Exclusively You(TM) Weight Management Program that analyzes and monitors body fat levels to create individualized programs. Exclusively You monitors body composition analysis with body impedance assessment.
“We combine this three-minute measurement technique with personal health and diet histories,” said Boasi. While keeping the company’s 20-year tradition of daily counsel and support, Exclusively You uses this computerized system to design nutrition and exercise regimes for long-term weight management.
“This is all new. In the ’80s everyone learned their cholesterol level. In the ’90s we’ll all learn about fat. Just think of the parallels that have been drawn between obesity and diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. And yet, the true risk assessment of fat levels hasn’t been extensively studied,” said Brown.
/CONTACT: Amy Crist of Diet Center, 412-338-8720; or Sarah Ryan, 212-887-8012, or Chris Wood, 212-887-8011, both of Creamer Dickson Basford, for Diet Center/ CO: Diet Center Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:
GK-TS — NY059 — 7634 01/08/92 09:29 EST EST