Obesity perceived as country's biggest health problem

CINCINNATI — A large majority of Americans consider obesity to be the country's biggest health problem, according to a new survey.

The survey, by Cincinnati-based polling company Repass & Partners, found that 83% called obesity the most important health issue in America — more than cancer, alcohol and tobacco or sexually transmitted diseases — and more than half say it is a disease that should be treated with the latest medical science, but that exercise and diet alone are not enough. Sixty-four percent said, incorrectly, that a majority of Americans are obese. The survey was conducted online between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10 and included 1,504 respondents.

"Americans understand the severity of the obesity problem and the need for medical innovation to make progress with this very serious health situation facing our country," Repass & Partners CEO Rex Repass said. "More than 8-in-10 respondents say that obesity is a serious health problem affecting the overall quality of health in the United States."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.7% of Americans are obese and prone to related health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.