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Is overweight okay?

Updated: November 01, 2006

The percentage of Americans who are obese has more than doubled since the 1960s. In 1960, about 13% of Americans were obese, defined as having a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. (For most people, a BMI of 30 means being about 30 pounds overweight.)

Now over 30% of the population weighs enough to be considered obese. Experts agree that this is terrible news for the country's health. Obesity greatly increases the risk of diabetes, gallbladder disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and several types of cancer (colon, esophageal, kidney, and postmenopausal breast cancer).

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