Tag Archives: obesity statistics in America

See Where America Stacks Up In Life Expectancy

graph of female vs. male life expectancy at bi...

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The U.S. is lagging behind other high income countries in life expectancy despite spending more on health care than any other country.

A new report from the National Research Council finds that Americans can expect to live shorter lives than in other industrialized countries.  They council blames two things – smoking and obesity.

The popularity of smoking has gone way down in the last 20 years, but it was very popular from the 50’s and into the 80′.  The effects of smoking are not realized until much later in life and we are seeing now that it is affecting the life expectancy of the baby boomer generation and beyond.

The other factor, obesity, is an obvious one.  The U.S. has the third highest obesity rate in the world. Over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.  The only countries with higher rates of obesity are Kiribati and American Samoa.

See the list below and where the U.S. falls in life expectancy.

Women

Australia 83.78
Canada 82.95
Denmark 80.53
England and Wales 81.73
France 84.39
Italy 84.09
Japan 85.98
Netherlands 81.89
Sweden 82.95
United States 80.78

Men

Australia 79.27
Canada 78.35
Denmark 76.13
England and Wales 77.46
France 77.43
Italy 78.62
Japan 79.20
Netherlands 77.63
Sweden 78.92
United States 75.64

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Do You Know What State has the highest rate of Obesity in the U.S.?

Obesity is an epidemic in this country.  The numbers of people who are obese is staggering.  This does not even include the people who are simply overweight.  If we take that into account more than 66% of Americans are living at an unhealthy weight.

The problems with our lifestyles are numerous.  We eat too many carbohydrates, we don’t eat enough vegetables, we don’t get enough exercise, the activities that we do participate in are too sedentary and the list goes on and on.

So do you know what the most obese cities are?  How about the slimmest?  What about state by state?  I have that information for you.

Most Obese Cities in America

1. Miami, FL
2. Oklahoma City, OK
3. San Antonio, TX
4. Las Vegas, NV
5. New York, NY
6. Houston, TX
7. El Paso, TX
8. Jacksonville, FL
9. Charlotte, NC
10. Louisville-Jefferson, KY
11. Memphis, TN
12. Detroit, MI
13. Chicago, IL
14. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
15. San Jose, CA
16. Tulsa, OK
17. Baltimore, MD
18. Columbus, OH
19. Raleigh, NC
20. Philadelphia, PA
21. L.A.-Long Beach, CA
22. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
23. Indianapolis, IN
24. San Diego, CA
25. Kansas City, MO

Well certainly Texas has a lot of work to do.  They’ve made the list 4 times.  I guess it’s a bit of a surprise to see Miami in the number 1 spot, but statistics don’t lie.

Fittest American Cities

1. Salt Lake City, UT
2. Colorado Springs, CO
3. Minneapolis, MN
4. Denver, CO
5. Albuquerque, NM
6. Portland, OR
7. Honolulu, HI
8. Seattle, WA
9. Omaha, NE
10. Virginia Beach, VA
11. Milwaukee, WI
12. San Francisco, CA
13. Tucson, AZ
14. Boston, MA
15. Cleveland, OH
16. St. Louis, MO
17. Austin, TX
18. Washington, DC
19. Sacramento, CA
20. Oakland, CA
21. Atlanta, GA
22. Fresno, CA
23. Tampa, FL
24. Nashville-Davidson, TN
25. Pittsburgh, PA

Not surprisingly Colorado has two of the fittest cities in the U.S. and they happen to have the lowest overall obesity rates in the country.  See below.

State by State Comparisons

The South has some major problems with obesity.  This has been known for years.  The real danger is that almost a third of Mississippi is obese.  People who are obese are a significant risk for many diseases.  The CDC says that obesity is directly linked to at least 1/3 of all cancers.

The answer is not a mystery.  We need to cut the junk out of our diets and get moving.  Regulations need to be made that advertisers cannot pitch sugary junk food to kids and parents as some kind of health food simply because they add some B vitamins to the formula.

Seeing ‘low in cholesterol’ on the box does not make it healthy.  Low in fat also does not mean it’s good for you.  People need to be taught, starting in grade school, how to evaluate food.  If that happens then people will be armed with the tools to buy the proper foods and not feel overwhelmed at the grocery store.

I hear that constantly from my patients.  They just don’t know how to buy food.  They think they’re doing well because they read some claim on a label that tells them it’s good for them when in reality it is not.  If we can teach people how to eat, we can reduce obesity and health care costs in one shot.

These kinds of programs need federal funding so schools can put them in place.  They need to be on the scale of D.A.R.E and the anti-smoking campaigns.  If they’re not, it won’t work.  They only way to fix this problem is to give people the power to make the correct decisions.

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Filed under Diet, Public Health