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CDC reports increase of obesity rate


ATLANTA The proportion of U.S. adults who are obese increased to 26.1% in 2008, compared with 25.6% in 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed.

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

In six states – Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia – adult obesity prevalence was 30% or more. Thirty-two states, including those six, had obesity prevalence of 25% or more. Only one state, Colorado, had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. But no state showed a significant decrease in obesity prevalence from 2007 to 2008.

The data comes from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based phone survey that collects health information from adults ages 18 years and over.

The 2008 BRFSS obesity data indicated that none of the 50 states or the District of Columbia achieved the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing obesity prevalence to 15% or less. “The latest BRFSS survey data show that the obesity problem in this country is getting worse,” commented Liping Pan, CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the 2008 BRFSS obesity map analysis. “If this trend continues, we will likely see increases in healthcare costs for obesity-related diseases.”

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