Percentage of Teens Trying to Lose Weight Decreasing

From 1988-1994 to 2009-2014 increase in prevalence of overweight/obesity, decrease in weight loss efforts

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MONDAY, June 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- From 1988-1994 to 2009-2014 there was an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among U.S. adolescents and a decrease in the percentage who tried to lose weight, according to a research letter published online June 25 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Daneisha R. Hawkins, M.P.H., from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the trend in weight loss efforts among adolescents with overweight and obesity aged 16 to 19 years. A total of 1,298, 2,697, and 1,496 participants aged 16 to 19 years were included for the 1988 to 1994, 1999 to 2004, and 2009 to 2014 time periods, respectively.

The researchers found that from 1988-1994 to 2009-2014 there was an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity from 22.09 to 34.03 percent; the overall percentage of adolescents who had tried to lose weight during the same period decreased from 33.68 to 27.24 percent. From 1988-1994 to 2009-2014, the percentage of adolescents with overweight who were trying to lose weight decreased from 36.36 to 23.41 percent among boys and from 80.24 to 54.19 percent among girls.

"It is not clear whether the decreasing trend to lose weight led to an increased prevalence of overweight and obesity or vice versa," the authors write.

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