Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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Jackie Conn, general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine, said the aging population of Maine, which has the nation's highest median age at 42.7 years, is the primary reason for its high ranking.
Also, she said, the amount of urban sprawl, its long winters and the condition of the roads give people reason to get in their cars to get where they're going, rather than walk or bike.
"There is sort of a general attitude, it's hard to do or impossible," Conn said about exercise and weight loss.
She said she thinks the key to reversing the trend is to get the word out about easy and affordable ways to stay active, like getting up every hour and walking for five minutes, working out to a free YouTube video or cutting back on portions rather than changing what you eat.
She said people might think they have to eat expensive, organic vegetables to lose weight but canned and frozen vegetables are just as good.
The report by the Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., and the New Jersey-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is based on data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System annually surveys more than 400,000 adults about their health, including their height and weight.
The report also showed that 64.2 percent of Maine's population is overweight, making it 26th in the nation. It also ranks 26th for its rate of diabetes, which is 9.7 percent of the population.
Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org