July 20, 2011

CDC Reports On Growing Obesity Despite Recent Measures

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that no US state reported less than 20 percent of adults were obese. That means no state met the national Healthy People 2010 goal to lower the prevalence to 15 percent, Bloomberg is reporting.

At least 30 percent of people in 12 states were obese in 2010, an increase of three states from a year earlier. Southern states had the highest rate of obesity, with 29.4 percent, and the West had the lowest, of 24.1 percent, the CDC report said.

Government health plans, Medicare and Medicaid, each spend more than 20 percent of their budgets to treat illnesses related to obesity and smoking, avoidable health risks, according to the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index above 30, WebMD reports. A 6-foot-tall adult man weighing 221 pounds or more is considered obese, as is an adult woman standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall weighing 186 pounds or more, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

Thomas Frieden, the CDC director, says in a news release that heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer are the leading causes of death related to obesity.

"It will take time and resources to win in the fight against obesity," William Dietz, director of CDC's division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity, says in the news release.

"This epidemic is complex and we must continue to change the environments that make it hard to eat healthy and make it hard for people to be active."

By taking such steps, "we not only help today's adults, we also invest in our children and grandchildren, so they won't have to endure this serious and costly health burden," Dietz tells USA Today.

The CDC says that obesity has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Medical costs of obesity reached $147 billion in 2008.


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