More U.S. adults may be trying to lose weight, after all

[Reuters, 12/18/18]  Researchers said last year that the proportion of overweight U.S. adults trying to lose weight has been shrinking – but newly reanalyzed data suggest the proportion of adults trying to slim down actually grew slightly.

Based on a U.S. survey, researchers had originally reported in JAMA that the proportion of adults who are overweight and obese surged from 53% to 66% over roughly the past three decades. They also said that over the same period, the proportion of overweight and obese adults trying to lose weight dropped from 56% to 49%.

But today the authors retracted their paper, noting that they had failed to account for a change in how the survey asked about weight loss efforts starting in 1999. Once researchers accounted for the change in survey questions, they calculated that the proportion of overweight and obese adults actually rose to 58% by the end of the study period.

Furthermore, “It looks like the proportion of adults trying to lose weight increased slightly,” said senior study author Jian Zhang, a public health researcher at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, in an email to Reuters Health………….

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