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Almost one-third—73 million—of all adults in the United States are obese, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
According to the government agency, from 2007 to 2009, the number of obese adults aged 18 and over rose by 2.4 million—a 1.1 percent increase.
“In every state, more than 15% of adults are obese, and in nine states, over 30% of adults are obese,” the report stated.
These statistics are double the national numbers of 30 years ago.
The report revealed that no state has been able to meet the goal of having an obesity rate less than 15 percent.
“We aren’t near that, and we haven’t moved in that direction,” National Center for Health Statistics epidemiologist and co-author of the study Cynthia L. Ogden told The New York Times.
MSN health and fitness writer Maia Szalavitz said the slumping economy is contributing to the epidemic.
“When unemployment rises, obesity can soon follow because cutting back on expenses often means cutting the healthier, more expensive foods and people also turn to junk food to relieve stress,” she said. Serious health complications related to obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Obesity accounts for approximately $147 billion in medical costs each year. A person who is obese averages $1,429 more in medical expenses annually than one of normal weight.
Health authorities expect these numbers could skyrocket. An earlier study revealed that within the next 10 years, obesity-related expenses could cost the U.S. more than $344 billion as 43 percent of the population could be obese by that time.