Obesity Still Rising in US Despite Push to Eat Healthy, CDC Finds

PHOTO: Obesity is still rising among American adults.PlayGetty Images
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Obesity rates continue to rise despite a major push to raise awareness about healthy eating, according to a new survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity rates rose to approximately 37.7 percent for adults in the U.S., up from 34.9 percent in 2011 to 2012, according to a CDC survey published this week.

The information was taken from about 5,000 participants who were surveyed by the CDC.

Women are more likely to be obese, with 38.3 percent of women facing obesity vs. 34.3 percent of men, according to the survey.

Rates of obesity in children also climbed from last year, with a rate of 17.2 percent, up from 16.9 percent in 2011 to 2012, the CDC found.

Experts say medical providers should rethink how they approach talking to patients about a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Lisa Cimperman, a registered dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said in the past people did heed warnings to not eat certain products but didn't add healthy food to their diets.

"The best example we have is we got this message out that we need to reduce fat consumption, they reduced their fat intake and replaced it with refined carbohydrates," Cimperman said. "The intake of refined carbohydrates was just as bad as a high fat diet."

New initiatives attempting to focus on a more holistic approach to eating healthy with an emphasis on eating fresh, unprocessed foods may be too new to show any results in the report, Cimperman said.

"I think that we’ve been on this trajectory for at least 40 to 45 years, so it’s going to take time to reverse it," Cimperman said. "It’s like trying to stop an enormous vessel in the sea -- to turn that thing around is going to take a lot of time."

She said it's important for people to remember simple facts about what to eat rather than fixating on one ingredient like sugar, fat or carbohydrates that they should avoid.

"Americans are quite tenacious in their ability to find new ways to eat poorly and new ways to exercise less," she said.