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Pound Foolish 

A look at obesity by the numbers

Whether an adult is measured overweight or obese depends on his or her Body Mass Index (BMI). For example, someone who is 6 feet tall would be considered overweight at 185 pounds and obese at 225 pounds.

To find out your BMI, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site ( Plug in your height and weight and find out whether you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese.

Since 1980:

· The number of obese adults has doubled

· The number of overweight adolescents has tripled

Source: "The Surgeon General's Call To Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity," December 2001

Overweight or obese adults (percent)

Louisiana United States

Adults 57 56

Adult males 65 65

Adult females 51 47

White adults 56 55

Black adults 64 66

Source: 2001 statistics from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's State Health Facts Online

Overweight kids (percent):

United States

Children (ages 6-11) 15.3

Adolescents (ages 12-19) 15.5

Chance that a child will be obese

· If both parents are obese: 80 percent

· If both parents are lean: 7 percent

Source: the Louisiana State University AgCenter

· 80 percent of Louisiana diabetics are overweight

· Being overweight or obese substantially increases the risk of sleep apnea hypertension, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease and osteoarthritis

Source: Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

2003 Louisiana Health Report Card

Nearly 1 out of every 10 dollars spent on health care in the United States is due to overweight and obesity. This rivals the amount due to cigarette smoking.

Source: "National medical spending attributable to overweight and obesity; How much, and who's paying?" Health Affairs 2003

Minutes of recommended daily physical activity

Adults 30

Children 60

Adults who met the recommendation 32 percent

Adults who do not get any physical activity 40 percent

Teens who watch more than two hours of TV 43 percent

Source: "The Surgeon General's Call To Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity," December 2001

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