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Health | local | Vital Signs

Study: Oregon Obesity Jumps By 120 Percent Since 1990

Obesity rates for adults in Oregon jumped 120 percent since 1990 — according to a new study by the state.

Bill Branson, National Cancer Institute

State epidemiologist, Katrina Hedberg, says obesity-related illnesses kill about 1,400 Oregonians a year. That makes obesity the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking.

Hedberg explained, “We have worked with the legislature to look at things like physical education standards in schools, to require PE for students. Menu labeling is another thing that we are implementing here in Oregon. Again we’re trying to do a variety of things on this front.”

According to the report, obesity-related chronic diseases cost Oregonians about $1.6 billion in medical expenses each year. The average annual medical costs for an obese person are about $1,400 higher than for someone who isn’t obese.

The Oregon report comes on the heels of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It predicts that at the current rate, more than 40 percent of Americans will be obese by the year 2030.

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