According to the latest US government figures, over 70 million adults in the US are obese. This amounts to around 26% of the country’s adult population. The figure has shot up by 1% over the last two years.

The US Centre of Disease Control and Prevention stated that obesity was one of the main health threats and was concerned because the situation kept getting worse.

The director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden confirmed that more concentrated efforts were necessary to fight obesity. He said that if steps were not taken to curb the issue, more people would suffer from conditions related to obesity such as some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Using the country’s Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System, the CDC studied data spanning around 400,000 persons – taking into account factors such as weight and height.

Amongst their findings is the fact that around 30% of adults in nine states in the US are obese. Obesity rates of more than 30% were not reported from any states in 2000.

The results also revealed that almost 2.5 million more people were found to be obese in 2009, when compared to numbers in 2007, recording an increase of 1.1%.

Medical costs estimated for obesity are as much as $147 billion per year. People suffering from obesity undergo medical costs approximately $1,500 more than their counterparts of normal weight.

Changes in legislation are being considered to encourage people to eat healthy and exercise more.