About 26 percent of Americans are obese, according to a poll released Wednesday by Gallup.
"The percentage of obese adults in the United States held steady in 2012 after declining slightly in 2011," Gallup reported. "The obesity rate did not continue to decline in 2012, despite more Americans reporting frequent exercise each month and more Americans citing obesity as the most urgent health problem facing the U.S. compared with prior years."
The reported obesity rate is somewhat higher in Merced County.
"In September 2010, a study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that 34.3 percent of Merced County residents are obese, and that its rate of obesity was second highest in California," according to a report by the Merced County Community Action Board. "The study found that obesity is more prevalent among adults with low educational attainment levels, high poverty, and among certain ethnicities such as Hispanics."
According to Gallup, President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act includes provisions for free obesity screening and counseling.
"Ensuring all Americans are aware of this provision may be key to helping those who are overweight or obese achieve and maintain a healthy weight and avoid the chronic diseases associated with obesity," Gallup said.
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