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Number of Obese Adults Keeps Rising, CDC Says
Date:8/3/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- America's waistline continues to widen.

As of 2009, almost 3 in every 10 adults (26.7 percent) is now statistically obese, up from 25.6 percent in 2007, according to a new government report released Tuesday.

The report, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also found that between 2007-2009, the number of U.S. states where at least 30 percent of the adult population is obese had tripled to nine from three. Ten years ago, no state had an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more, according to the new report.

"Over the past several decades, obesity has increased faster than anyone could have imagined it would," CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said during a noon press conference Tuesday. "Obesity has doubled in adults and tripled in children. We need intensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity, or more people will get sick and die from the complications of obesity, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer."

Although the federal goal of Healthy People 2000 was to have an obesity rate of 15 percent or less, not one of the 50 states managed to achieved that goal, Frieden noted.

According to the report, 2.4 million more American adults have reported becoming obese since the last such survey in 2007.

In addition, annual medical costs linked to obesity have soared to $147 billion in 2008, the researchers say. The care of an obese American now costs $1,429 more per year than that of a normal-weight person, the CDC team estimated.

The data in the report is culled from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which contains state-level public health data. In a phone survey, some 400,000 adults were queried on their height and weight, which researchers then used to calculate body mass index (BMI).

Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or more. For example, a 5-foot-4 woman
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