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The Biggest Health Problem: Obesity

As the chief of epidemiology at a major medical school, I am frequently asked what the biggest threat is to the health of our nation. My response is obesity.

The obesity epidemic is a public health crisis in the U.S. Over one -third of all adults are obese; and another two thirds are overweight and on the way to becoming obese. In racial and ethnic minority groups including blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, obesity has touched nearly half of the adult population.

That is why I cheered when I read the findings of a recent study describing how effective a beverage tax was on lowering the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in Philadelphia.

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