News | December 09, 2007

Filmmakers Examine Math Behind the Numbers of CDC’s Obesity Report Card

December 10, 2007 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that obesity prevalence has leveled off and made no significant gains since its last report filed for 2003-2004.

The report, “Obesity Among Adults in the United States -- No Change Since 2003-2004,” is the latest analysis based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

“The headline the CDC has been running with for these numbers is a shell game,” said Bryan Young, producer of the forthcoming documentary on the subject of obesity, “Killer at Large”, “When they say ‘no significant gains’ we’re still talking 2-3 percent of the population has crossed into the threshold of obesity in the last two years. With a population the size of the United States, that’s still close to a million people. That sounds pretty significant to me.”

Steven Greenstreet, director of “Killer At Large” added, “It’s very interesting that everyone is quickly taking credit for the ‘plateau.’ The CDC is taking credit for all of their efforts to curb obesity but they haven’t really done anything to address the issue. Neither has [the Department of] Health and Human Services. And the fast food companies are taking credit by saying, ‘we’ve done away with a lot of super sizing,’ but all of those claims are patently false. And then the AP actually had the audacity to quote a representative from the Center for Consumer Freedom about it and these are the hired attack dogs of the junk food industry.”

“The fact remains,” Young continued, “that based on their numbers more than 72 million Americans are categorized as obese and that they are nowhere near hitting their own goal of a 15 percent obesity rate by 2010. This report is a failing grade for the government’s response to obesity and they’re packaging it as a victory because the rate went up slightly less drastically in years past.”

Greenstreet agreed, “This is very much a black eye for the government response.”

When asked for comment, Dr. Cynthia Ogden, a PHD level epidemiologist at the CDC National Center for Health Statistics agreed, “Absolutely, a third of the population is still obese. There’s some hope, but the best news is when we see a decrease.” She also stressed the importance of emphasizing that the report only showed a plateau in certain segments of the female population and that the rise of obesity in men went virtually unchanged.

“Killer At Large” is set for release next year after a tour of major film festivals. It features interviews and footage of notable experts and celebrities speaking on the topic of the American obesity epidemic including Former President Bill Clinton, Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, Ralph Nader, Dr. Kelly Brownell, Dr. Marion Nestle, and bestselling authors Michael Pollan and Chef Ann Cooper, among many others.
For the complete CDC report, “Obesity Among Adults in the United States -- No Change Since 2003-2004” visit:

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