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One in Four U.S. Adults is Obese or a Smoker

About 5 percent, or 9 million U.S. adults, are in both categories, and have increased health risks

FRIDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Almost a quarter of U.S. adults are obese, nearly as many U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, and 4.7 percent run extra health risks by being both smokers and obese, according to a study published online May 12 in BMJ.

Cheryl G. Healton, Dr.P.H., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues studied the results of the 2002 National Health Interview Survey to calculate the incidence of smoking, obesity and a combination of the two in 29,305 U.S. adults aged 18 or older.

The researchers found that 23.5 percent of U.S. adults were obese; 22.7 percent smoked cigarettes (81 million U.S. adults total), and 4.7 percent, or 9 million Americans, were both smokers and obese, posing potentially greater health risks.

"Although the proportion of adults who smoke and are obese is relatively low, this subgroup is concentrated among lower socioeconomic groups," the authors write.

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