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Eating Ourselves to Death in America

By on August 14, 2012

We already know the United States has an obesity epidemic among children and adults. But just how bad is it? Well black men (non-Hispanic)   have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity, about 49.5 percent. This obviously fuels the diabetes epidemic. Obesity is also the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States. But it’s the state of Mississippi that has the highest rate of obesity at 35 percent of the population.

It should be noted that the state of Colorado had the lowest rate of obesity at 21% based on the latest figures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s  (CDC) map found here shows almost 36%  of U.S. adults were obese, and almost 17% of youth were obese in 2009 to  2010, with most living in the South.

The map is based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance  System.

No state had a prevalence of adult obesity less than 20%, and 12  states had a prevalence of obesity at 30% or higher, those states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

The South had the highest prevalence of adult obesity at 29.5%,  followed by the Midwest at 29%, the Northeast at 25.3% and the West at 24.3 percent. So no part of the country is immune to weight issues among its citizens.

These trends can be corrected and obesity is preventable. If weight is a health concern, think about manageable dietary changes to integrate in your life. For example, reducing your consumption of processed foods and salt and increasing the amount of fresh fruit and veggies in your diet can make a significant difference. And while not always popular, getting regular physical activity, like walking, swimming, or a bike ride is just what the body needs. Remember the human body is designed for ‘movement.’ Avoid being sedentary.

Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and  certain types of cancer. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were  estimated at $147 billion, according to the CDC.



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