One third of homeless are obese

Amid some signs that America's obesity rates may be flattening out, media outlets report that one in three homeless people is obese and that bariatric surgery, which reduces stomach size, is becoming more common for patients as young as 12 or 13.

Des Moines Register: U.S. Sees Progress In Battle Against Obesity, Former Surgeon General Says
America finally appears to be making progress on fighting obesity, which could help the country gain control of its medical costs, the nation's former top doctor says. Former Surgeon General David Satcher, who was in Iowa to give the commencement address for Des Moines University over the weekend, noted that some studies suggest America's obesity rates are starting to flatten out or even drop a bit after climbing for many years (Leys, 5/27).

CNN: 1 In 3 Is Obese-;Even The Homeless
Obesity is a widespread epidemic, even among the homeless. While the popularized image of a homeless individual is one of skin and bones, a new study shows the reality is not so. One in three (32.3%) homeless individuals in the United States is obese, highlighting a hunger-obesity paradox. The paradox is that hunger and obesity can exist in the same person. And although a person may be overweight or obese, he or she can lack proper nutrition (Park, 5/25).

Kansas City Star: Weight Loss Surgery For Teens Becomes More Common
With obesity in America at epidemic levels and the rate among children at 17 percent, triple what it was 30 years ago -; the practice of bariatric, or weight loss, surgery for teens is also growing, with some patients as young as 12 or 13. At root is a growing but cautious recognition among physicians that for some obese children, the surgery -; which reduces the size of the stomach to a tiny pouch -; not only improves their physical and emotional lives, but also may be the most effective way to change their size. Doctors across the county now report they are seeing children who, by age 10, are already too fat to lose weight in any lasting way through nutrition or exercise alone (Adler, 5/26).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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