There was a dramatic increase in the incidence of diabetes and obesity among the US population during the 1990s, but Americans are failing to address the problems by eating well and doing exercise, according to The Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Using data collected by the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which surveys adults over the age of 18 years, the CDC completed a study on the issue which is published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The CDC epidemiologist who authored the article, Ali Mokdad PhD, explained: “Our findings were striking […] Both obesity and diabetes are preventable and yet more than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, and about 15m Americans aged 18 years or older had diagnosed diabetes in 2000.”

The study found that between 1991 and 2000, there was a 61% increase in obesity among Americans, and 49% increase in the incidence of diabetes. The gaps between the years 1999 and 2000 was particularly worrying, showing the dramatic increase for diabetes from 6.9% to 7.3% and for obesity from 18.9% to 19.8%.

In the same decade, researchers also found that 27.3% of Americans did not undertake any kind of physical activity. Furthermore, only about 25% of the adult population ate the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables.

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