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Obesity tops cancer in perception as the worst U.S. health problem

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Americans are more concerned about obesity than any other health problem and 83% think it is the most important health issue in America, according to findings from a survey released today by pollster Repass & Partners. More than half of all Americans agree that obesity is a disease and should be treated with the latest medical science. Exercise and diet alone are not a solution for those who are obese, the survey finds, and a majority believe there are few safe options for seriously obese people to lose a significant amount of weight.

Americans understand the severity of the obesity problem and the need for medical innovation to make progress with this very serious health situation facing our country, said Rex Repass, CEO of the survey research firm. More than eight in 10 respondents say that obesity is a serious health problem affecting the overall quality of health in the U.S.

Ranking health care issues on a scale of most to least important, Americans see obesity as the number one issue, followed by cancer, access to health care, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness and Alzheimers disease. While eight in 10 respondents feel that obesity is the top health concern, seven in 10 see substance abuse as a problem, while six in 10 think use of tobacco products is a key health issue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than a third of Americans are obese (35.7%) and are prone to obesity-related health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

What really struck me was that most respondents 64% agree that a majority of Americans are obese, but the same percentage believes that they don't necessarily see themselves as obese, said Repass. That is a hard statistic to explain.

The survey was conducted from September 4 10 and included 1,504 respondents who answered questions through an online consumer panel.

Information from Repass & Partners, Inc.

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