Wednesday, December 10, 2014

U.S. Obesity Rate Increasing, Smoking Rate Decreasing

Nearly 30 percent of Americans are obese, according to the 2014 annual report by the United Health Foundation. That’s a 2-percent rise from last year’s numbers, which saw a decrease in the obesity rate for the first time since 1998.

Colorado ranked first for the state with the lowest obesity rate while Mississippi and West Virginia tied for last place. Texas ranked 36th with 30.9 percent of its population obese.

We are eating more and exercising less, and obesity is the result, bringing with it a host of related health problems. According to the United Health Foundation, these include “heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, hypertension, liver disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, respiratory conditions, osteoarthritis, as well as poor general health.” The report found one in 10 Americans has diabetes.

There was some good news, however: For the third straight year the U.S. smoking rate declined. Only 19 percent of Americans surveyed said they were smokers. In Texas, that number is even lower, with 15.9 percent of Texans reporting they smoke.

Read the report.

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