Health Officials: America's Obesity Rates Soar

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U.S. health officials are reporting that obesity rates in the country have increased over the past few decades by nearly a third of the population.

According to the new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 27 percent of Americans - an estimated 73 million citizens - are obese.

Researchers say people are not getting enough exercise and are eating the wrong foods. Experts warn obesity poses a greater risk for early death and illnesses - mainly heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

"Over the past several decades, obesity has increased faster than anyone could have imagined it would," Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The New York Times.

"Obesity rates have doubled in adults and tripled in children in recent decades," Frieden said.

People over 50 years old had higher rates of obesity than those who were younger.

It has been estimated that the medical costs for obesity go as high as $147 billion a year.

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