Special Report: Is Chenango too fat?

According to the United States Center for Disease Control, obesity has become a nationwide epidemic. With the number of overweight people increasing every year, obesity continues to be a concern for health care professionals across the country and in Chenango County.

In New York state today, approximately 55 percent of adults are obese or overweight, meaning they have a body mass index of 25 or greater. In children, the rate of obesity – a body mass index of 30 or greater – is approximately 16 percent nationwide.

The National Center for Disease Control’s statistics compiled for the period from 2000 to 2002 show that approximately 62 percent of adults in Chenango and Madison County were obese or overweight. Among children, Chenango County fared slightly better than the national average, but officials at the department of public health say there is still reason for concern.

“Obesity among children and youth is increasing,” said Health Educator Jacky Knoll-Carr.

In Chenango County, approximately 13 percent of children ages 2 to 4 and 13 percent of high school students were overweight.

“There are a lot of factors. It’s the type of foods they eat, the portion sizes, hereditary issues, and a more sedentary lifestyle,” said Knoll-Carr.

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