Study shows 71 percent of CNY men are overweight

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Story Updated: Nov 12, 2010

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown has performed a survey the past three decades.

It's called the Upstate New York Health and Wellness Survey, only this decade it doesn't paint a very pretty picture of wellness for our region.

Dr. John May, the Director of the Basset Research Institute released the findings of the latest survey Friday morning at The Otesaga in Cooperstown.

"It's a very large survey, and gives us results that have a good deal of scientific validity," Dr. May said.

55,000 people were surveyed in seven counties - Otsego, Herkimer, Chenango, Madison, Delaware, Montgomery and Schoharie.

Among the good findings, more upstate women are getting pap smears, and are getting mammograms, although the numbers are still below the national average.

The alarming news of this latest survey is the number of overweight people has risen for the third straight decade. Dr. May says it's due to a variety of factors, including the socio-economics of our region.

"It costs money in many ways to exercise, particularly in the winter around here," Dr. May said. "And healthy food is not always the most affordable."

In 1989, 34% of females were overweight. In 1999, it went up to 48 percent.

In this latest study, 56 percent of women are overweight.

But compare that to men.

The numbers went from 51 percent in 1989, to 64 percent in 1999, to now a whopping 71 percent of men who are overweight or obese.

Dr. May says he was not surprised by the increase, but was surprised when it came to the Type 2 diabetes findings.

Type 2 diabetes is usually linked with being overweight.

"Diabetes seems to be increasing over the last ten years at a lesser rate, almost leveling off in our region," Dr. May told the large audience Friday. "Why is that? We don't know."

The next step, Bassett will be sharing their information from their survey to the seven area county health departments.

They will then, together, try to come up with programs to improve the health of Central New Yorkers, so that 10 years from now, when another survey is conducted, things will improve, including, the 'size' of the population.

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