Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) — There doesn’t appear to be much headway being made in the battle to curb obesity in the United States, according to a pair of studies released Tuesday.
Updated findings show that 35% of men, 40% of women and 17% of children and adolescents are obese, according to two articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
These figures remain high in spite of the “hundreds of millions of dollars” that have been pumped into research, trials, observational studies, community and hospital programs, and the development of devices and drugs, said an accompanying JAMA editorial.
There are also the attempts of schools, communities, companies and places of worship to control weight gain, but the country’s three-decades-old obesity epidemic is hanging on strong.
“Although it is impossible to know what the extent of the obesity epidemic would have been without these efforts, the data reported … certainly do not suggest much success,” wrote Dr. Jody Zylke and Dr. Howard Bauchner, the deputy editor and editor in chief, respectively, of JAMA.
Obesity up among women
Relying on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which cuts out the possibility of people self-reporting and lying about their weights or heights, scientists monitor obesity trends because of the real health consequences associated with obesity, explained Cynthia Ogden, one of the authors of the two studies.
One study looked specifically at trends among adults from 2005 to 2014. The results, based on data from more than 2,600 men and 2,800 women, showed that for women, the prevalence of obesity went up, while the prevalence among men remained the same.
In fact, obesity increased by 5% for women over a decade, said Ogden, of the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A body mass index of 30 or more qualified as obese, and a body mass index of 40 or more qualified as class 3 obesity. Nearly 10% of women (up from 7% a decade earlier) and 5.5% of men fit into the class 3 obesity category.
Ogden said she and the other authors looked at race, ethnicity, education level and smoking practices to see whether any of those factors might explain the trends, but nothing did.
Small increase among obesity in teens
A separate study looked specifically at trends among children and adolescents, factoring in measurements from nearly 41,000 individuals, ages 2 to 19, between 1988-94 and 2013-14.
The study authors examined a 25-year period to expand their sample size and data. What they found was that for children ages 2 to 5, the prevalence of obesity went up before decreasing in 2003-04. For children 6 to 11, the prevalence rose for a period until it leveled off in 2007-08. But for adolescents, 12 to 19, the upward trajectory has continued.
Overall in 2011-14, there was a 17% prevalence of obesity and a 5.8% prevalence of extreme obesity among children and adolescents.
By age group, the prevalence varied significantly. For children ages 2 to 5, obesity prevalence was about 9%. For kids 6 to 11, it was 17.5%. And for adolescents ages 12 to 19, it was 20.5%.
Just as in the adult study, the authors considered variables such as sex, race, ethnicity and education level of the head of the home to see whether those factors could explain trends. But, again, none of these variables provided answers, Ogden said.
The editorial writers, Zylke and Bauchner, wondered whether genetics might “unlock some of the mysteries of obesity” but added that this course of discovery would take time. Prevention, they said, must remain the focus for now, even if current initiatives seem to have made little difference.
“Perhaps it is time for the medical and public health communities to embrace a relationship with the food and restaurant industries,” they wrote. “These industries have been good at developing and successfully marketing unhealthy foods; perhaps it will be possible for them to develop and market healthy foods.”
Jan Crouch, a co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network and popular televangelist, has died following a stroke, her son announced Tuesday via a posting on his and his wife’s website. She was 78.
“Laurie and I have just watched the transition of our precious mother from this world to the next; watched her step into the presence of Jesus and into her heavenly reward,” Matt and Laurie Crouch said in a statement.
“Jan Crouch, known around the world as Momma Jan, has gone home.”
Crouch and her late husband, Paul, founded Trinity Broadcasting Network, now known as TBN, in 1973 and watched it grow to become the world’s largest and most successful religious broadcasting network.
Born Janice Bethany in Columbus, Georgia, she was the daughter of Edgar and Laurie Bethany. Her father was a preacher and official in the Assemblies of God denomination.
She would meet her future husband through a church event.
In a 2007 TBN newsletter, Paul Crouch recalled seeing her at a camp meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota, where her father was preaching.
“Heads turned (especially the boys) as a slight, beautiful angel seemed more to glide than walk toward the front of the auditorium,” Crouch wrote. “Head down — timid it seemed to me — yet the bright red dress contrasted with the retiring, even shy, demeanor of this stunning young lady!”
Crouch was thrilled to learn the young woman with which he was smitten was scheduled to start classes in the fall at Evangel College, an Assemblies of God liberal arts school, in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri. After she invited him to hear her sing at a youth event, the pair began dating and married in August 1957.
What followed was the birth of their sons, Paul Jr. and Matthew, and the blossoming of their ministry from a single station to a multimillion-dollar business empire.
The couple were a popular fixture on their show “Praise the Lord.”
“Janice Crouch, called ‘Mama’ on the air, is known for her pink-tinged wigs, which look like huge swirls of cotton candy, and for talking emotionally about the Lord’s blessings,” Erik Eckholm wrote in a 2012 piece for The New York Times. “Mr. Crouch, or ‘Papa,’ is relentlessly upbeat as he quotes flurries of Bible verses on signature programs like ‘Praise the Lord.’ ”
Paul Crouch Sr. died in 2013. In Tuesday’s statement, her family wrote, “She has taken a piece of our hearts with her, but it’s so wonderful to know that Paul and Jan Crouch are together again, in the arms of Jesus.”
But TBN was not without controversy.
The New York Times article documented a family fight that highlighted the lavish lifestyle of the Crouches, including matching multimillion-dollar homes in a gated community in Newport, California.
In 2015, Courthouse News Service noted that various members of the Crouch family have sued each other over the years.
To the class of 2016:
First of all, let me say to you congratulations to each and every one of you. I know that you have finally reached that finish line at the destination of your educational career path that you have earnestly worked hard for so many years to achieve to. Not only are you very proud and celebrating this great milestone in your lives, but your parents and close family members and friends are celebrating this moment with you.
I guess the question that most of you would ask me is “why are you penning an open letter to the class of 2016?” The reason that I chose you, the class of 2016, is because about 20 years ago in high school, I was in your shoes. From reliving the moment of purchasing a class ring my junior year of high school to getting fit for the graduation cap and gown of the colors that the senior class had chosen at the time. That last time that I spent together as a class group was priceless and a wonderful experience.
For some of you in the class of 2016, you have faced challenges and adversities even up to the final day that you leave the educational intuition centers behind heading into college or the real world. Some of you either by the upper leadership of the school board officials or the school staff was denied access to even march with your classmates on that day of the graduation ceremonies. You were denied by reasons that I personally believe in my own heart “Made no sense whatsoever”. Some have fought the evils of the hindrance and have won victorious. Some are still fighting on the battlefield not to be judged simply because they choose to wear a beard, wear their military uniform, or a kente cloth.
To, Brother. Nyree Holmes, Brother. Andrew Jones, Marine Pvt. Megan Howerton, and Sister Liseanne Yazzie, I want you all to know that I have read the stories and I stand in support of what you have done. I know the adversities and challenges that each one of you face because it was also 20 years ago that I faced similar challenges and adversities from my own high school Assistant Principal, Principal and staff officials. Yet by the grace of God, I was able to endure and hold on to the very end. While you are fighting on the battlefield to protect your self-worth and dignity always remember to forgive those brought on the accusations and the naysayers.
Lastly, to the graduating class of 2016, I leave you with words of wisdom from the book of Proverbs 3:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
For 18 years, God gave our parents wisdom, and understanding to help mold and shape you into the future leaders you are destined to become. To Marine Pvt. Megan Howerton, my best wishes for you in your military career. I know that you will do your very best to serve protect and defend our country, to you and to your family I send my best of blessings. To Sister Liseanne Yazzie, I pray that you have great success in all of your future endeavors and I pray blessings over you and your family. To Brothers Andrew Jones, and Nyree Holmes, continue to stay strong in the Lord brothers. In the face of what is happening in America with the police brutality, black lives matter, etc, I pray that you will be blessed abundantly in your careers and studies so that in the words of Joseph, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20
So Class of 2016, go forth into the world, succeeding in the Lords plans and in his purpose.
We all have gone through that terrible lonely stage. Mine was i believe 14 years ago. Since then, I have never felt lonely nor do I belong to the Lonely Hearts Club. My heart is stayed on Jesus and miraculously because of one singular special, profoundly, wise word have i overcome. Here is how it went…It was told unto me many years ago by Sister Harper our Co- Pastor she said after I stated “I don’t think Jesus has anyone in this world for me?” Well she replied, “Denise, if God meant for you to be married (right now),then you would be married (right now) and she also said, “Why don’t you try falling in love with Jesus for real, then you won’t be lonely at all!” then she walked on…of course that was not what i wished to hear at the time, I was still young in the Lord and silly in the head. I guess i would have wished to hear her tell me something that would tickle my ears, make me go bananas over the next new man in my life… that she foresaw coming my way. He would then throw me off my feet, kick me to the curb, kerplunck, there I go again… landing in a ditch somewhere brokenhearted. Silly woman laden with sin ever running from God doing the same sin to die for…But instead i settled her saying in my heart and went forward with my life concentrating on falling in love with Jesus. I began to focus on making Him my First, most perfect truest love I ever had. Revelation Ch:2 verse 2-5.. If a man puts his hand to the plow and looks back, he is not fit for the kingdom. Be equally yoked and not with unbelievers. These are the last days and we being single should concentrate on winning souls, God will take care of the rest. Be careful because the devil knows how to hook you up with the wrong people. Q-I hear people say that you praise the Lord with great enthusiasm. A-I have a supernatural energy now. Some say I praise Jesus with an explosion of fiery passion, no holes barred like a jumping bean. Sometimes I’m passionate and melt with great tears. King David praised God disrobing himself of his Kingly garment. God said He was a man after His own heart. I wish to be an excellent worshipper in Christ. You might say that when I was unsaved I collected addictions; which blew down the door of boldly going no where, where most have gone before.I hid behind a face that launched a thousand nothings. Now I am busy collecting people for Jesus. I had a lot of energy back when was lost in the world but it was a chemical energy and now it’s a supernatural energy. Jesus is everything to me. I have made a commitment to Him and I want to be faithful to His plan for me.