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Diabetes belt: American South gets more health notoriety

Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2011

First, we had the "stroke belt," a swath of the American South characterized by those with unmanaged high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle. Then, we got the "obesity belt," a portion of Southern geography inhabited by a number of folks with elevated cardiovascular disease as well as a sedentary lifestyle. Now, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have brought us the "diabetes belt," a county-by-county census of patients with type-2 diabetes. This swath of obesity and sedentary lifestyle also girds the American South, stretching down the southeastern seaboard, 'round the silty Mississippi Delta and following the Appalachian Mountains north across Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. It lessens just inside the borders of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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