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Obesity Epidemic from Coast to Coast

tape measure around USA mapAmerica’s obesity epidemic stretches from coast to coast and encompasses every state, with twelve states having at least three of every ten residents obese, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey released last week.

Every state had at least 20 percent of its residents report they were obese, the CDC survey found. The estimates have serious implications for our country’s future cases of cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Obesity increases the risk of seven types of cancer, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

The estimates come from an annual telephone CDC survey, called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

The South had the highest prevalence of adult obesity, with Mississippi ranking the highest at 35 percent. Western states reported the lowest overall obesity with Colorado coming in at the bottom, still having 21 percent of its residents reporting they were obese.

This year, CDC updated their data collection and analysis to improve their results. For example, they called cell phones for the first time as well as landlines.

The updates mean you cannot compare this year’s estimates to those of previous years. But still, obesity rates remain high. A CDC survey released earlier this year estimated that more than one-third of US adults are obese. This survey included interviews, physical exams and lab tests.

Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Prevalence of Self-Reported Obesity Among US Adults, BRFSS, 2011. August 13, 2012. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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