Could your ZIP code determine the size of your waistline?

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by By KING5.com Staff and / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 28 at 10:23 AM

Video: Could your ZIP code determine the size of your waistline?

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - The Snohomish Health District has released a new obesity study that identifies the "fattest" ZIP codes in Snohomish County.

The study found that 27.7 percent of adults in the county are obese - more than double the number from 1994.

The report, which included data from 2003 to 2007, found scale-tipping ZIP codes in north, east and central parts of the county. A chunk of Marysville in the 98270 ZIP code topped the list with nearly 34 percent of the residents in that area being identified as obese.

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The second most-obese section of the county is defined as a rural area that stretches across the eastern parts of the county and includes ZIP codes 98241, 98251, 98252 and 98294. There, nearly 32 percent of the residents are considered obese.

The third-chunkiest section of the county falls in Everett's 98204 ZIP code area with nearly 30 percent of the residents listed as obese.

"The obesity epidemic needs to be addressed and the study is meant to help communities know where they stand in the battle of the bulge," said Colin Rehm, an epidemiologist with the health district.

Rehm said it's unclear exactly why these three areas have the greatest number of obese people, but researchers often find higher levels of obesity in areas where there is more poverty and the property values are lower, he said, and that seemed to play out in the recent study.

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