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Obesity Rates Surge In 37 States

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:14 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Obesity, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, Overweight, BMI, Protecting Your Family


IMAGE SOURCE: ©Wikimedia Commons / waist circumference / author: Pharos, FDA Dietary Guidelines

Americans continue to pack on the pounds, ignoring constant warnings about the growing obesity crisis in America. Despite public efforts to promote good nutrition and physical activity, Americans are getting fatter.

Obesity rates among adults have surged in 37 states over the last year, according to the fifth annual F as in Fat report. 25 percent of adults are obese in 28 states, up from 19 states last year.

20 percent of adults are obese in every state except Colorado. In 1991, all state obesity rates were under 20 percent.

In all, obesity rates have doubled from 15 to 30% since 1980. Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are considered obese or overweight, according to the survey by two nonprofits, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.

The highest rates of obesity out of 51 states were seen in Alabama (30.1%); Louisiana (29.5%); Mississippi (31%) and West Virginia (30.6%). Not one state showed a decrease in obesity rates.

Worrisome increases were noted in the percentage of adults with Type II diabetes, a common weight-related disease. 26 states had higher incidences of diabetes, according to the report.

The national diabetes rate in adults has increased from 5.2 percent in 1980 to more than 8 percent. One in three Americans has hypertension (high blood pressure), another common weight-related disease.

The report estimates health-care costs directly related to obesity exceeds $61 billion annually.

Overweight and obese are both terms that are given when a person in not considered healthy for their given height and weight. To find if an adult is overweight or obese one must find their body mass index (BMI) which is based on a persons’ height and weight. An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and an adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Individuals are spending plenty of their own money in an attempt to lose weight, with little success. The weight-loss industry in the U.S., including herbal products, diet programs, prescription diet drugs and other like products is estimated at $33 billion a year.

“We need to send a strong message of alarm and urgency to highlight the seriousness of the matter,” said Dr. James Marks, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Another study, by the journal of Obesity says all American adults may become overweight in forty years if the current weight trends continue unchanged.

The Study is published in the report F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing In America 2008. #

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