We're Not Getting as Fat, But We're Dying More of It

So we're not getting quite as fat.  But more of us are dying from it.

That's the consensus of a new report, according to Alexandra Sifferlin. "Obesity is more deadly than previously thought, but a nationwide survey shows that after rising for decades, rates have not increased for the first time in 30 years," she writes at time.com.

Only one state showed an increase in obesity rates, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report said, and that was Arkansas. All other states, while still having plenty of obese residents, stayed stable.  Not surprisingly (hey, they have the best food), the South had quite a few states with high obesity rates, as did some in the Midwest, and Pennsylvania (hmm, what's in the water THERE?).

Mississippi also handed over its crown for the state with the highest adult obesity rate to Louisiana, 34.7% of adults weighing in with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, Sifferlin reports.

Colorado is the thinnest state, with Connecticut not too far behind.

But here's the really bad news. "In 2000, no state had more than 25% obese residents, but in the latest report, at least 20% of residents in every state were obese and 13 states had adult obesity rates that top 30%," Sifferlin notes. And the rates of “extreme” obesity, which was defined as having a BMI of 40 or more, increased by 350%, she writes.

And here's another disturbing pattern among the obese: researchers have found that "obesity was to blame for 18% of deaths among black and white men and women between ages 40 and 85, which is higher than the 5% mortality previously attributed to being heavy," according to Sifferlin.

We all know why.  Obesity leads to heart disease and diabetes, which can result in kidney failure and amputation, and it's also been linked to cancer.  

Certainly it's good news that we're not getting fatter (sorry, Arkansas).  But looks like we have to work harder to live longer.


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