November 11, 2008

South is now the fattest and sickest reports the rate of new diabetes has doubled in the last 10 years. Why? The obesity epidemic.

I'm really afraid that with all the nation's other issues, obesity will get very little attention. And millions more Americans will suffer.

I'm not in favor of increased health care coverage if it doesn't include obesity prevention as well. And that's both a health and business issue.

The nation's obesity epidemic is exacting a heavy toll: The rate of new diabetes cases nearly doubled in the United States in the past 10 years, the government said Thursday. The highest rates were in the South, according to the first state-by-state review of new diagnoses. The worst was in West Virginia, where about 13 in 1,000 adults were diagnosed with the disease in 2005-07. The lowest was in Minnesota, where the rate was 5 in 1,000.
Nationally, the rate of new cases climbed from about 5 per 1,000 in the mid-1990s to 9 per 1,000 in the middle of this decade.

Roughly 90% of cases are Type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity.

The findings dovetail with trends seen in obesity and lack of exercise — two health measures where Southern states also rank at the bottom.

"It isn't surprising the problem is heaviest in the South — no pun intended," agreed Matt Petersen, who oversees data and statistics for the American Diabetes Association. more...

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