New Year in Obesity: Better Strategies and Bad Knees

Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD


January 27, 2012

In This Article
Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Past President, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fat Nation Hits Home

Starting the new year with a resolution to lose weight is not new. Although excess weight increases risk for leading causes of death (heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers), emphasizing these consequences has not made a dent on our epidemic of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevalence data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates that about one third (33.8%) of all adults are obese.[1,2]

But it's not just the here and now that really has me worried. It's the way things are going. Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reveal that obesity rates are highest in the south, an area that includes my home state of Georgia. Georgia is not the fattest state; Mississippi, with an obesity rate of 34.5%, has that dubious honor. Still, Georgia's obesity rate (30.4%) is above the national average of 27.6%. Colorado wins the blue ribbon for being the state with the lowest obesity rate (21%).

This new year brings new arguments for losing weight that may help motivate patients to make appropriate and positive lifestyle changes. Additional studies also provide insight and give guidance to keys to success.[1,2]


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