Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (4):772-789 (2008)

Abstract
Worldwide, obesity has become a major cause of preventable death, disease, and disability. While the epidemic of obesity is a significant public health issue in many developed nations, the United States has the highest prevalence of obesity among adults and children internationally. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates that over 60 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “overweight” refers to adults whose body mass index, a number calculated using weight and height measurements, is between 25 and 29.9. “Obese” refers to adults whose BMI is 30 or higher. Among American children and adolescents, approximately 17 percent are overweight.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720x.2008.00337.x
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