Ok, I've been wondering about this for quite a while so I did some research. I just can't figure out how to use the numbers I found to make sense for the thought I had.
I've been trying to figure out how the number of overweight/obese people in 1960 relates to the number of overweight/obese people in 2000 (and the growth thereof) as far as population and its growth is concerned.
So here are the numbers I found:
% of population overweight/obese by year:
1961-1962 : 44.8%
1971-1974 : 47.7%
1976-1980 : 47.4%
1986-1994 : 56%
2001-2004 : 66%
US population by decade
1960 : 179.3 million (80.3 million overweight/obese)
1970 : 203.3 Million (96.9 million o/o)
1980 : 226.5 million (107.3 million o/o)
1990 : 248.7 million (139.2 million o/o)
2000 : 281.4 million (185.7 million o/o)
Where I get confused is by the following numbers* that I came up with:
1960-1970 : population increased by 24 million, o/o increased by 16 million
1970-1980 : population increased by 23 million, o/o increased by 11 million
1980-1990 : population increased by 22 million, o/o increased by 22 million
1990-2000 : population increased by 33 million, o/o increased by 46 million (but if you take into consideration that the standard for o/o was lowered in 1998 so that 35 million became o/o overnight, then the increase for o/o between 1990-2000 was actually only 11 million). ETA: I didn't see the footnote** that said they used BMI over 25 for ALL years for counting overweight/obese people in the population. So, they went back and made people fat retroactively (I thought I had read somewhere that the overweight/obesity rate for people back in the 60's was 1 in 4, or 25%, not 44.8%, so that's why they're saying NOW that more people were fat back then than they were saying back THEN were fat, if that makes sense). No wonder this epidemic is manufactured, they keep changing the rules on us, not just today, but for 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago.
**(until a troll pointed it out to me and told me what a fathead, stupid woman I was and that I should stick to eating and leave the math to people smarter than fat old me. Hey, I'm old and my eyes don't always see the really fine print anymore, even with glasses. After it was pointed out to me, I had to go back and magnify the page to 150% so I could see the footnote number and then actually read the footnote.)
Now, I'm seeing this as actually showing that the rates of obesity aren't increasing as rapidly as the population, except for the period from 1980 to 1990. So, if there actually was an obesity epidemic, wouldn't that mean that the rates of obesity should be increasing more rapidly than the population?
Am I reaching an erroneous conclusion here? I've never had a statistics class, so I'm not sure if I'm figuring things correctly or jumping to a conclusion.
*numbers are rounded
CDC link for % overweight/obese by year
link for population by decade