Is the epidemic slowing?


Obesity remains a significant health problem in the United States, affecting more than one in three adults and nearly 17 percent of children. Not only does obesity have the potential to lead to other physical problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, but it is a major factor in rising health care costs, with the annual bill for treating obesity-related illnesses climbing more than 60 percent over the past decade. A number of states and localities are taking steps to fight obesity, such as including walking and biking paths in transportation plans and requiring restaurants to post nutrition information. But public-health advocates argue that a more comprehensive approach is needed. Meanwhile, while healthier eating is one anti-obesity strategy, increasing numbers of adults are choosing surgical interventions for chronic obesity.

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