Obesity in America - Consumer Justice Foundation

Obesity in America

Written by Faith Anderson on August 14, 2012
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High Rates of Obesity in South and Midwest

Overall, a dozen states in our country have an obesity rate of 30% or more, based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And of the 30 states with the highest obesity rates, 26 were located in the South or Midwest, with Mississippi topping the list at 34.9%. In terms of regions, the South had the highest number of obese people (29.5%), followed by the Midwest (29%), followed by the Northeast (25.3%), and then the West (24.3%). While state rates remained mostly the same as in the past, the number of states with “very high” rates of obesity jumped from nine to 12.

The measurements used to calculate obesity include a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI), height and weight. A person is considered obese by these standards if they weigh thirty pounds or more than the recommended BMI healthy weight. “Overall the obesity rate remains high, and it shows that more concerted efforts need to be invested in by states to make healthy choices available,” said Heidi Blanck, acting director of the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

Chronic Health Conditions Associated with Obesity

According to the CDC, stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers are related to obesity in patients. Furthermore, the cost of medical care associated with obesity was about $147 billion in 2008 alone, and individuals who are obese are estimated to pay an extra $1,429 in medical bills. “Obesity has contributed to a stunning rise in chronic disease rates and health care costs,” said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of TFAH. “It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced.” If you are struggling with obesity, discuss with your doctor safe ways you can lose excess weight, reduce your risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Contact a Drug Injury Attorney for Legal Help

Our consumer advocates at Consumer Justice Foundation would also like to warn obese patients about the health risks associated with certain weight-loss drugs, including the newly-approved Qsymia, whose active ingredient topiramate has been linked to serious side effects like birth defects in children exposed to the drug in pregnancy. What’s more, popular medications used to treat conditions related to obesity, like type 2 diabetes, may also put patients at risk of life-threatening complications. The widely-used diabetes drug Actos, for example, has been connected to potentially fatal side effects like bladder cancer, and the FDA updated the Actos warning label in 2011 to reflect this risk. If you have been adversely affected by a pharmaceutical drug, contact an experienced drug injury attorney to discuss your compensation options.

Posted Under: United States
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