Our sons, daughters, relatives and neighbors here in America are already among the fattest people in the World. And they just keep adding on more pounds. A new report reveals that obesity rates have ballooned during the last year in over 30 states. Not one state reported a declining obesity rate.
Mississippi has the dubious honor of having a population where over 30 percent are classified as obese. A new national record!
In the nation overall two-thirds of U.S. adults are obese or overweight, according to the fourth annual report from the Trust for America's Health. The report's co-author says the government needs to treat this trend as an epidemic and create some sort of federal plan... the same kind that might be activated in the event of pandemic flu.
Co-author of the report, Jeffrey Levi, says: "We need something like that in obesity that says this is what every agency of the federal government is doing. [It's] what we can do to directly affect this problem and motivate individual communities and businesses to play their role as well."
In 32 states, 60 percent of the population is either overweight or obese. West Virginia ranks highest in the combined statistic, with nearly two-thirds of its adults obese or overweight.
Mississippi, where almost one in three adults are obese, not surprisingly ranks highest in adult hypertension and physical inactivity. It's tied with the District of Columbia in poverty and ranks second-highest in adult diabetes.
West Virginia came in second in the obesity ranking, followed by Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Nationwide, more than 25 percent of adults in 19 states are obese, up from 14 states last year.
In 1991, only four states had obesity rates above 15 percent, and none exceeded 20 percent.
If the government does put in place a plan, many worry that it would put in place a low-fat strategy. Diabetes specialist Dr. Richard K. Bernstein is one of those who are concerned the government might take the wrong road.
The New York-based author of "Diabetes Solution," contends that the popularity of low-fat diets is related to the increase in diabetes and obesity.
"Insulin stores fat," he said. "Eat very little carbohydrates, you're going to make very little insulin. Not only will you not store fat, you'll metabolize it."
On the other side of the fence, Justin Wilson (a senior analyst for The Center for Consumer Freedom), wants the government to stay out of his diet. "Obesity is a private issue and we do not need Big Brother wagging his finger at us every time somebody wants to eat a doughnut. If someone wants to be a little heavier because they enjoy eating food that tastes good, that's a person's personal right."
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