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Unformatted text preview: every state and among both sexes, regardless of age, race, or educational level. In 1991, only four states had obesity rates of 15
percent or higher; today at least thirty-seven states do. “Rarely do chronic conditions such as obesity,” the CDC scientists observed, “spread
with the speed and dispersion characteristic of a communicable disease epidemic.” Although the current rise in obesity has a number of
complex causes, genetics is not one of them. The American gene pool has not changed radically in the past few decades. What has changed is
the nation’s way of eating and living. In simple terms: when people eat more and move less, they get fat. In the United States, people have
become increasingly sedentary — driving to work instead of walking, performing little manual labor, driving to do errands, watching
television, playing video games, and using a computer instead of exercising. Budget cuts have eliminated physical education programs at
many schools. And the growth of the fast food industry has made an abundance of high-fat, inexpensive meals widely available.
As people eat mor...
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- Spring '08