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Half of county's residents too fat

Mirror staff

Noting that half of King County’s population is overweight, the King County Health Board and other health officials are taking aim at obesity.

The University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Seattle-King County Public Health Department also have joined in addressing one of the most serious health problems facing county residents.

County Councilwoman Carolyn Edmonds, chairwoman of the Health Board, said officials hope that a communitywide, “coordinated effort” will reduce obesity and foster “healthier and longer lives.”

In King County:

• More than one in every two residents was overweight or obese in 2003. That’s an approximately 13 percent gain since 1987, when 37 percent of the population was overweight or obese

• During those years, obesity alone more than doubled, from 7 percent to 18 percent.

• Obesity and overweight rates are highest in the south end of the county (24 percent and 62 percent, respectively).

Spurred by the “clear evidence” of weight problems, health officials last week formally began making plans to increase physical activity among adults and children, public land-uses that promote exercise, and access to healthy food.

Excess weight increases the risk of life-threatening and disabling health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

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