Sunday, December 14, 2014

The U.S. Gets Fatter as it Falls Behind on Exercise ... How did Your State Rank?

Americans got fatter last year and were more slothful too — two closely related outcomes reported in an annual analysis of the USA's health out Wednesday.
After encouraging improvement in last year's report, this year's data returned to the steady increase in obesity that's marked America's Health Rankings in the 25 years since it was first released.
The rankings, which are issued annually by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, is the longest-running state-by-state analysis of the nation's health.
Hawaii came out on top for the third year in a row. Vermont came in second and Massachusetts was third. Mississippi ranked last, preceded by Arkansas at 49 and Louisiana at 48.
The obesity rate increased from 27.6% to 29.4% of adults, Nearly a quarter of people report doing no physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days, which may be partly to blame. That number increased from 22.9% in the 2013 report to 23.5% in this year's report.
Obesity, a leading contributor to death in the USA, has more than doubled over the last 25 years, the report shows. Obesity is also closely tied to chronic, costly diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure, which are bedeviling the health care system.
Nearly 10% of adults now say they have diabetes, which is more than double the number from 20 years ago when the rankings started tracking the disease.
"What people are not focusing enough on is that we are producing an extraordinary number of people who are unnecessarily sick," says Reed Tuckson, an Atlanta internist who is senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation. "They are pouring into medical system; it's a total crisis."
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