The obesity rate in country continues to climb despite more Americans exercising regularly, reveals a new Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation report.
A recent Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation report has both good and bad news. The good news is that more Americans have begun exercising and become conscious about their weight. The bad news, however, is despite these efforts; the obesity rate of the country continues to rise.
The report reveals that in over two thirds of counties in the Unites States, residents have become more physically active. Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida experienced a significant rise in the number of people getting enough exercise to stay fit. Sufficient exercise is defined as 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous workout. In Concho County, Texas, the number of men getting sufficient exercise increased from 41.4% in 2001 to 58.2% in 2009. In Morgan County, Ky., the percentage of active women increased from 25.7% to 44% over the same time period.
"Around the country, you can see huge increases in the percentage of people becoming physically active, which research tells us is certain to have health benefits," IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a press release. "If communities in the U.S. can replicate this success and tackle the ongoing obesity impact, it will see more substantial health gains."
Though these numbers suggest Americans are becoming health conscious and realizing the adverse effects of obesity, it has done little to shrink the obesity rates of the country. Except for one out of the 100 counties studied, each county reported a rise in obesity rates.
The obesity rate for men in Lewis County, Ky., leapt from 28.9% in 2001 to 44.7% in 2009. Meanwhile, the percentage of obese women in Berkeley County, S.C., jumped from 31.6% to 47.9%.
The report also revealed that life expectancy in the United States did rise between 1985 and 2010, but the rate of this rise was slow when compared to the country's economic peers. There were also huge gaps in life expectancy rates from county to county.
Americans are living longer than they did 15 years ago but an increase in conditions that cause back and joint pain have been observed. Researchers have also noticed a rise in psychiatric disorders and substance abuse, which means many do not feel well enough to enjoy their added years, Reuters reported.