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The South is a Mecca For Obesity and Diabetes

Posted Nov 26 2009 12:00am

Obesity and prevalence of diabetes is dramatically increasing in the southern United States. The medical costs of obesity in the United States reached $147 billion in 2008 according to the CDC. In the Appalachia region of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, 81 percent of counties have high rates of diabetes and obesity. In the Southeast region that includes Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, three-quarters of the counties have similarly high rates of both obesity and diabetes. In many counties within those regions, more than 10 percent of residents have a diabetes diagnosis, and obesity prevalence is more than 30 percent. In the U.S. now nearly 10% of adults have diabetes and it is estimated another 5.7 million don’t know they have it. Poor diets and sedentary lifestyles are known to contribute to type 2 diabetes and obesity. In the south, it is thought that food culture and the high fat diet has its impact. Also economic and education levels are to blame. Obesity and diabetes rates are greater in poor and uneducated areas.

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