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The folks at Gallup have released their latest poll numbers. This survey has nothing to do with our spending habits, political views or opinions about the economy. It has to do with how overweight we are as a nation.
According to the information made public today, Mississippi receives top billing as the state with the highest obesity rate at 35.4 percent, while Montana came in last place at 19.6 percent.
In the “not so shocking” part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being report, the Americans who live in the 10 states with the highest levels of obesity are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with a chronic disease —such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, cancer and heart attacks — compared to the people who live in the states that ranked at the bottom of the list. And while those who reside in the 10 states with the lowest obesity rates reported healthier eating habits and increased exercise than their fellow citizens at the top of the survey, Americans are more obese than ever. We have increased to 27.1 percent (in 2013) from 26.2 percent (in 2012).
“Although slowing and even reversing this trend may seem daunting, even modest weight loss of 5 percent to 10 percent of initial body weight can lower the health risks associated with obesity," said Dr. James E. Pope, Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer at Healthways.
While this frustrating news may make you want to dive into the a heaping platter of nachos, keep in mind that stats are just stats. At the end of a day, the odds are always in your favor when you're being proactive about your health.