January 22, 2009 / 12:38 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Obesity is top health concern in U.S.

(Reuters) - The following are facts about obesity in the United States.

* About two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese.

* Obesity has increased dramatically over the past two decades.

* In 2007, only one state, Colorado, had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent. Thirty states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25 percent; three of these states — Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee — had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30 percent.

* An adult who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. A BMI over 40 is defined as morbidly obese.

* About 9 million adult Americans are defined as morbidly obese, according to the American Obesity Association. The morbidly obese population is growing at the fastest rate.

* Obesity-related diseases include coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, liver disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and gynecological problems, including infertility.

* Obesity is associated with more than 100,000 deaths each year in the United States.

* The direct and indirect costs of being overweight or obese is $117 billion per year, according the a 2000 report by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General.

Compiled by Debra Sherman in Chicago; Editing by Eddie Evans

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