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Authors' reply

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 09 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1568
  1. Andrew M Prentice,
  2. Susan A Jebb
  1. Head of energy metabolism group Research scientist MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge CB2 2DH

    EDITOR,--The increase in moderately overweight people in Britain has been somewhat greater than that quoted by J N Morris. Data from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys quoted in a recent report on obesity show that overweight (body mass index 25-30) increased from 33% to 42% in men and from 24% to 29% in women between 1980 and 1991-2.1 The total number of overweight and obese people combined (that is, those with a body mass index of >25) rose from 39% to 54% in men and from 32% to 45% in women. There are complexities resulting from a progressive skewing of the distribution curve for body mass index as the mean index of a population increases,2 but these do not diminish the seriousness of the epidemic facing Britain.

    In our paper we were careful to …

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