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Number of underweight U.S. adults declines

Oct. 25, 2010 at 8:33 PM

ATLANTA, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Less than 2 percent of U.S. adults age 20 years and older are underweight or have a body mass index of 18.5, federal health officials report.

Cheryl D. Fryar and Cynthia L. Ogden of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, say the prevalence of people ages 20-74 who were underweight has decreased significantly during the past decades, from an estimated 4 percent in the early 1960s to 1.6 percent in 2007-2008.

The decrease was significant among all age groups during the study period, the report says.

From 2003-2006 and 2007-2008, there were no significant changes in the prevalence of underweight of U.S. adults, but women were more likely to be underweight than men during any time period, the report says.

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