“Americans are not doing enough to control what they eat,” he said.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and obesity contributes to serious chronic illnesses, high medical costs and premature death.
“We have to face the reality that obesity is affecting our health,” Mokdad said. “We need to take care of ourselves by watching what we eat and how much we exercise.”
From 2001 to 2009, the percentage of adults meeting recommendations for physical activity — 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week — increased in most counties in the United States, the researchers report July 10 in Population Health Metrics.
But the percentage of adults considered obese also increased significantly. “In some counties, this increase was greater than 15 percentage points,” Dwyer-Lindgren said.
There was very little correlation between change in obesity and change in physical activity, the researchers noted.