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We're Fatter Than We Thought

New study, new round of bad news. Researchers have determined that the level of obesity in the U.S. is being dramatically underreported. The current, too-conservative estimate already says that one in three Americans is obese, so this may be one time you don’t want to click “Read more.”

Here’s a disturbing revelation, brought to us by the BBC: “Their study, published in the journal PLoS One, said up to 39% of people who were not currently classified as obese actually were.” Another fun fact provided by this research: According to a new estimate, more than 64 percent of American women are obese.

So, how did we manage to overlook the obese millions hiding among us?

The researchers decided that the body mass index or BMI, the main test of obesity, had been misleading. They tested this by going through a previous study and identifying obese people who failed a more accurate fat test but passed the normal BMI check. The underreporting of obesity was a problem especially among older women, due to muscle loss.

Of course one might prefer not to have the question of whether he or she is obese decided by medical professionals arguing over standards and practices. Instead, one might try jogging, eating more greens and saying “no” to the voice inside that shouts, “It’s Thanksgiving, I’m an American and it’s my right to eat as much pumpkin pie as the Costco will sell me!” — PZS

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