HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Nearly half the adults in Huntington,
W.Va.'s five-county metropolitan area are obese - an astounding
percentage, far bigger than the national average in a country with
a well-known weight problem.
Huntington leads in a half-dozen other illness measures, too,
including heart disease and diabetes. It's even tops in the
percentage of elderly people who have lost all their teeth (half of
It's a sad situation, and a potential harbinger of what will
happen to other U.S. communities, said Ken Thorpe, an Emory
University health policy professor who is working with West
Virginia officials on health reform legislation.
The latest numbers came from the CDC report, released in August,
but little-publicized. It was based on survey data from 2006,
comparing about 150 metropolitan areas. The Huntington area
includes five counties - two in West Virginia, Boyd and Greenup in
Kentucky and one in Ohio.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)