Obesity rates declining around LA, new report finds

About 20 percent of the population in the L.A., Long Beach and Santa Ana metro areas is obese.
About 20 percent of the population in the L.A., Long Beach and Santa Ana metro areas is obese. Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Obesity remains a serious problem here in Southern California and across the country, but a new poll suggests people in our area are exercising more, and starting to weigh less.

About 20 percent of the population in the L.A., Long Beach and Santa Ana metro areas is obese. While that figure is high, the good news is it’s dropping, down almost 3 percent since 2009, according to a recent poll by Gallup and Healthways that looked at health and well-being.

The report suggests that more Angelenos are exercising regularly, helping them shed pounds and become healthier. The poll also found diabetes caused by obesity is down by about 1 percent from 2010.

And that’s great news, not just for people’s health, but for the economy as well. Obesity is expensive.

The National Institutes of Health says additional medical costs for obese people averages about $1500 a year. The Gallup-Healthways report says obsesity now costs the L.A. region $4 billion each year.

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