Obesity Rates Leveling: Fat Loving on the Rise

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New evidence shows obesity rates in the United States have hit a plateau and America’s once rapidly growing waistline has finally slowed – but not before nearly 70 percent of Americans were found to be overweight and more than 72 million obese. Now scientists are uncovering a changing perception among the population: people think fat is beautiful.

Results from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), using measured heights and weights, indicate that an estimated 66 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. Obesity rates in U.S. women seem to be staying level, and the rate in men may also be hitting a plateau. With numbers so high, people’s perception of what is beautiful is also changing.

Although there is still a stigma reverberating through society, the echo is getting dimmer and dimmer as fat people now make up the bulk of the population. With this, statistics say a new attitude is being born. More and more fat actors are being put on TV and in films. Magazine covers, commercials and billboards are not all composed of the same, sickly thin model-type images. There is a growing shift in society that’s bumping thin out and bringing “fat” in.

This is most evident on the Internet as rapidly growing lists of fat dating sites are hitting the market. Last year, Google reported a sharp increase in fat-related searches. People are looking for things like: BBW photos, BBW personals, big beautiful women, fat ladies and big beautiful men. Modeling agency have launched searches for full-figured models and there has been a strong movement to oust the “skin and bones” look from the industry. Certainly within the United States there has been a shift in attraction as thin people are slowly making there way out of the picture.

Although the trend to put on weight seems to be leveling off in the US, other countries are still seeing dramatic increases. Some experts argue, however, that the plateau is only temporary and, with time, people who don’t carry a little extra girth will be considered odd or out of place. Soon, the study stated, people will be eating more in attempt to pack on a few extra pounds and join the national trend.

Adult obesity rates seem to be holding steady at about 34 percent, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The adult obesity rate has generally been climbing since 1980, when it was 15 percent. The entire adult population has grown heavier and the heaviest have become much heavier in the last 25 years. It’s no wonder that fat has evolved into the “new look” of contemporary times.
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