Both exercise and obesity on the rise in U.S.

Americans are getting more active, but obesity rates are still climbing, according to a recent study published in the journal Population Health Metrics.

The study found that obesity rates have reached nearly 60 percent for women in some U.S. counties, suggesting that while the increase in exercise is a positive step in the right direction, it's probably not enough to combat the obesity epidemic faster than it's growing.

People more active in Kentucky, Florida and California

The study defined sufficient exercise as 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

The study found that people were getting more exercise from 2001 to 2009, especially in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and California. The county that saw the biggest increase in exercise for women was Morgan County, Ky. - 44 percent of residents were active in 2009 compared to 26 percent in 2001. For men, Concho County, Texas saw the biggest jump in activity, with 58 percent of men being active in 2009, up from 41 percent in 2001.

Counties should know their obesity trends

Despite increases in physical activity, overall obesity rates continued to rise, researchers reported. For men, the biggest jump was in Lewis County, Ky., from 29 percent in 2001 to 50 percent in 2009. For women, it was Berkeley County, S.C., where obesity jumped from 36 percent in 2001 to 48 percent in 2009.

The highest obesity rate for men was found to be in Owsley County, Ky., and Issaquena County, Miss. for women.

The lowest obesity rates for men were found in San Francisco, whereas for women it was Fall Church City County, Va.

Researchers noted the importance of states and counties knowing their obesity rates in order to better combat the problem.

"More aggressive strategies to prevent and control obesity are needed. Diet and changes in individual behavior are key components," said study researcher Dr. Ali Mokdad, professor of global health at the University of Washington.

Source: Huffington Post

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