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July 18 2008 12:00 AM

The obesity epidemic is still running wild, and while fitness professionals such as yourself are combating it with healthy images, exercise programs, personal coaching and much more, the toll its taking on the US is frightening.


According to the Latest News

Over three out of 10 adults in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are obese, resulting from a lack of healthy eating practices, a lack of sustainable income and a lack of proper genetics. Mississippi took first place as the most obese state for the fourth consecutive time.


Mortality rates have risen in the South, fueled by the not-so-coincidental rise in heart disease and strokes, both complications that are commonly linked to obesity. Paired with more recent news that obesity ups a womans chance of acquiring pancreatic cancer by 70%, there is no question that something needs to be done.


[View the U.S. News geographical chart on obesity prevalence in all 50 states]


Blame the Genes

A study from the health journal Physical Genomics has shown that six genetic locations affected activity levels in mice. The Journal of Heredity has also shown 17 additional locations affecting activity levels.


Theyre only mice, but it definitely raises the question: Are some born sedentary?


Additionally, a Baylor College of Medicine study suggests that overweight mothers could be giving birth to those who are more likely to be overweight.


Whither the Health Care?

And how is the US performing when it comes to combating diseases resulting from obesity? The Commonwealth Fund released a less-than-stellar report card of the United States health care quality:


·         Overall: 65. Its a big number, but this bumped the nation to last, behind 18 other industrialized countries across the world. If the US scored the same as Japan or France (who aced the test), it could save 100,000 additional lives.

·         Efficiency: 53. The US spent 7.5% of its health care budget on insurance administration in 2005. France spent 6.9%, Japan spent 2.3%, and Finland spent 1.9%. Additionally, the US records only 28% of its medical records electronically, compared to 98% in the Netherlands and 89% in Britain.


Finally, 47 million Americans still lack health insurance, with 28 million underinsured. IHRSA is engaging fitness professionals into health care reform, also, with their WHIP and PHIT acts [read news article].


Click here for essential tips to combating the Obesity Epidemic.