DATABASE: Tallying America's Health

Science  29 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5735, pp. 677
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5735.677b

The number of overweight and obese adults in the United States has ballooned by 20% since the early 1960s, reaching 64%. But the rate of adult obesity has leveled off since the late 1990s. From the girth of the nation to the prevalence of asthma, the National Center for Health Statistics's Web site stashes the numbers that reveal Americans' physical and mental well-being.

The clearinghouse lets you prowl the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) data collections. Click on the FASTATS index to track down nuggets of information such as the number of deaths from Alzheimer's disease every year (nearly 59,000) and the incidence of diabetes (6.6% of the adult population). A feature called WONDER guides visitors to a host of CDC documents and databases. For example, users can dig up the number of AIDS cases in different cities and view county-by-county maps of injury-related deaths. You can also read the latest results from reports such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which regularly gauges Americans' health.

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