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It’s an epidemic that’s crippling the country.  According to a new study, the number of adults 100 lbs or more overweight continues to skyrocket.

Recent reports show more than 15 million Americans are severely obese.  That’s double what it was just a decade ago.  And women’s waistlines are growing faster than men’s.

The nations airlines now estimate they are paying a quarter billion dollars in extra fuel just to fly America’s increasing obese population.

And when the obese show up to hospitals, doors have been widened from 10 ft. to 12 ft., just to accommodate them.

“You have heavier wheel chairs and the stretchers are heavier,” said Dr. Rob Truax of University Hospitals.

Obesity is now clearly cemented as America’s number one health problem.

“And we are seeing a lot of consequences of obesity — yes it is an epidemic,” said Dr. Rob Truax.

A published report out just today states that two-thirds of the nation’s adults are over weight.

In fact, more than 80% black women in America categorized as overweight — which is about twice the rate of white women.

“I think a lot of black woman love themselves as they are so many may think it is O. K. to be over weight,” said one Clevelander.

The reasons for the nation’s weight problem are no secret.

“Buffets.  We can eat anytime we want — at 3:00 in the morning I can get Taco Bell,” said another Clevelander.

And there’s a financial toll as well.  Medicare is paying some $1,700 more to care for an obese patient than one with normal weight.

And finally there’s the toll on quality of life.

“This one issue of obesity contributes to so many of our chronic diseases today.  We could significantly reduce all sorts of cancers, heart disease, stroke diabetes,” said Dr. Rob Truax.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News