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Morbid Obesity Rate Accelerates

If current trends continue, thirty years from now one-third of the U.S.population could be morbidly obese! Hard to believe? Three decades ago, it would have been hard to imagine the present state of affairs: two-thirds of the population overweight or obese.

A new study published in the journal Public Health found that between 2000 and 2005, the U.S.obese population (BMI > 30) increased by 24%.The morbidly obese population (BMI > 40) increased twice as fast, while the super-morbidly obese population (BMI > 50) increased three times as fast.

In fact, the higher the BMI, the higher the growth rate of that group (i.e., the super-morbidly obese population is growing faster than the morbidly obese population, which in turn is growing faster than the obese population). Bariatric surgery, also on the rise during the same timeframe as the analysis, hasn’t “made a dent” in the problem, according to study authors.

Given that many people are in denial about their weight, the 3% of the 1.5 million who were identified via telephone surveys as morbidly obese may in fact be much higher.

Use the CDC BMI calculator (or order one online from our Dole Depot) to find out whether your weight falls within a healthy range.

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s,osteoarthritis and several kinds of cancer.Obesity also makes health problems harder to detect.

Fortunately, by cutting out junk food, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and getting an hour of exercise most days of the week, you can prevent or overcome obesity.

Published July 1, 2007

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