I’m just wondering if it’s a function of aging. For example, people tend to lose bone density and weight as they age. The Baby Boomers, the largest generation, are aging and would be changing the statistics rather dramatically. Think about it. When you visit an old folks home, how many people are super overweight? Is it because the morbidly obese people have already died, or is it because they slim down because they eat less, absorb less, or whatever.
I don’t really think that awareness campaigns have anything to do with the dwindling numbers. Everyone knows, and has known, that being grossly overweight is unhealthy. When it comes to smoking, people didn’t realize the health risks for a very long time. The statistics and evidence demonstrated how bad it is and reversed the smoking trend.
People have always known that candy and fast food and excessive this or that is bad for you–they did, and do, it anyway.
So are people changing or are they just aging? I couldn’t tell from the research. It’s good news that people aren’t getting fatter, but I don’t know that the information says much about changed American behavior.