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Underselling the Obesity Epidemic in America

I suspect state health officials across America were stunned to learn the epidemic of obesity in their towns and counties may be far greater than they ever imagined, according to a featured study in this month's Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (free report link below).

Scientists discovered a huge disparity between the numbers states were reporting versus federal estimates was problematic at best. Why? Telephone surveys were used, allowing men to fudge on their height by an inch or two and women to underestimate their weight by a few pounds.

By comparing state numbers to the data collected by the CDC, scientists found every state had grossly underestimated their rate of obesity. States with the highest obesity numbers among men, women or both: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Washington, D.C.

Folks, the sad fact about all this, whichever sets of obesity numbers you want to believe: The average American lifespan is falling and could drop even more by the middle of this century. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to stop the obesity in your own home:

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 99, No. 5, May 2006: 250-257 Free Full Text Study

Yahoo News May 9, 2006

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