26 percent of U.S. adults obese in 2011

March 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- One-in-four U.S. adults were considered obese in 2011, a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found.

The index used Americans' self-reported height and weight to calculate body mass index scores. The 2011 metro area findings were extracted from Gallup's daily tracking data of more than 350,000 U.S. adults from Jan. 2, 2011, to Dec. 29, 2011.

Those with a BMI score of 30 or higher are considered obese. Nationwide, 26 percent of U.S. adults were obese in 2011.

The average obesity rate in the 10 metro areas with the highest obesity rates in 2011 was 34.8 percent, compared with 15.9 percent in the 10 metro areas where rates were lowest.

Almost 39 percent of people who live in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area of Texas are obese, compared to 12 percent living in Boulder, Colo., a survey says.

Boulder, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., and Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo., were the only three metropolitan areas that achieved the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's nationwide goal of lowering obesity rates to 15 percent.

Those living in the 10 areas with the highest levels of obesity were much more likely than those living in the 10 areas with the lowest obesity rates to report a diagnosis of chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression at some point in their lives.

The margin of error ranged from less than 1 percentage point for the smallest metropolitan areas to 6.5 percentage points for the largest cities.

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