Obesity ticks upward in US: government data

The adult obesity rate in the US has risen steadily since 1999, when 30.5 percent of adults were obese. (AP)
Updated 13 October 2017
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Obesity ticks upward in US: government data

MIAMI: The rate of obesity in the US has reached a new high, at 39.6 percent of adults, according to government data released Friday.
Health experts are concerned about obesity because it is associated with a number of life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer.
The adult obesity rate in the US has risen steadily since 1999, when 30.5 percent of adults were obese.
“From 1999-2000 through 2015-2016, a significantly increasing trend in obesity was observed in both adults and youth,” said the report, based on a nationally representative sample of the population, and issued by the National Center for Health Statistics.
“The observed change in prevalence between 2013-2014 and 2015-2016, however, was not significant among both adults and youth.”
Its previous report for 2013 to 2014 found that 37.7 percent of adults were obese.
Researchers said the difference between the current and last report is not statistically significant because it falls within the margin of error of the estimate.
Adult obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Among youths aged two to 19, 18.5 percent are obese, the report said.
The rate of youth obesity was 13.9 percent in 1999.


Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor

Updated 13 June 2018
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Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor

  • A team of volunteers collect unwanted food from lavish Ramadan buffets
  • Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago

AMMAN: At the end of a lavish Ramadan buffet in the banquet hall of one of Amman’s five-star hotels, a young Jordanian charity worker rushes to gather up left-over food that his team of volunteers will package and redistribute to needy families.
Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago, angered by the amount of food thrown away by hotels during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, traditionally a period when consumption levels double across the region.
“What we do is eliminate this waste, we salvage the food and provide it to people who are in desperate need of it,” said Sharif, a 33-year-old teacher.
His team of volunteers now works all year round to collect unwanted food from large wedding parties, bakeries and restaurants.
This year the initiative has focused on the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, one of the depressed areas in a country that has seen some of the biggest protests in years this month over steep price hikes, which are backed by the International Monetary Fund.
Critics say the price hikes are to blame for rising poverty in Jordan.
Family Kitchen’s initiative this year provides ‘iftar’ meals — eaten by Muslims after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan — to 500 families in the impoverished refugee camp on the outskirts of Amman.
A third of the camp’s 120,000 residents have an income below the national poverty line and around 17 percent are unemployed, the UN refugee body says.
“Our families are very poor, there is a lot of poverty in the community, so they need this support, they need these meals in order to ensure that they have food the next day,” said Kifah Khamis, who runs a charity in the sprawling camp.
One camp resident, Um Thair, a mother of four, said she could not have coped without the meals delivered to her family.
“I was able to save money. During Ramadan I didn’t have to buy a lot of food or shop a lot, we got most of our meals from the charity, we would come everyday and get our iftar meal,” she said.