Despite first lady Michelle Obama's four-year campaign to wean the nation off Big Macs and Big Gulps, obesity in America rose last year, continuing an unbroken 15-year streak, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control.
In an early release of some data in its 2012 National Health Interview Survey, the CDC said that 28.9 percent of adults are obese, a small but significant jump from 28.7 percent in 2011. Officials were hoping that 2012 would snap the trend.
As a result, the CDC found that the nation's obese population is about 50 percent bigger than in 1997, when 19.4 percent of the nation was overweight.
Obama has been on a non-stop campaign to get the nation, especially children, to eat healthy and shed pounds. She has been joined on the dieting stage by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has even tried to limit the size of portions and drinks, notably the Big Gulp, sold in his city.
But many in the nation have fought back and even politicians have gotten into the act, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who appeared at a recent conservative conference with a Big Gulp.
The new CDC figures point fingers. The most obese age group are those 40-59. Some 33 percent of that age group is obese, with men topping the list at 35 percent. Younger Americans, age 20-39, are the lightest. Just 26 percent of that age group is overweight.
Also, blacks are more overweight than whites. Some 26 percent of white women and 41 percent of black women are obese. In men, 29 percent are obese and 33 percent of blacks are overweight.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.