July 8, 2009

CDC Survey Shows Obesity Worsening In US

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the rate of obesity in America is higher than ever.

Two-thirds of Americans are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the CDC report issued on Wednesday.

"The proportion of U.S. adults who are obese increased to 26.1 percent in 2008 compared to 25.6 percent in 2007," according to the CDC report.

"In six states "“ Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia "“ adult obesity prevalence was 30 percent or more."

"Thirty-two states, including those six, had obesity prevalence of 25 percent or more."

Colorado was the only state with a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent.

The findings come from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which surveys more than 400,000 US adults via telephone.

Survey participants are asked to provide their height and weight, which CDC analysts can use to determine their body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or more is considered to be obese.

"Obesity is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.  As obesity increases among all age groups, we are seeing chronic diseases in much younger adults compared to a few decades ago," said Dr. William Dietz, director, CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

"For example, we now see young adults who suffer from heart disease risk factors and other conditions such as type 2 diabetes that were unheard of in the past."

Liping Pan, CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the report, said that the findings show that the obesity epidemic is growing in the US.

"If this trend continues we will likely see increases in healthcare costs for obesity-related diseases," said Pan.


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