Poll finds few Americans know all the health risks of obesity

Doctors say risk of cancer, arthritis also high

WASHINGTON - A new poll suggests that many Americans don't realize that obesity can lead to other health problems besides heart disease and diabetes.

More than 7 in 10 of the roughly 1,000 people who took the AP-NORC Center survey said heart disease and diabetes are the most serious consequences of diabetes. But only 7 percent mentioned cancer, although doctors long have known that fat increases the risk of developing cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, uterus and certain other sites.

About 15 percent knew obesity can contribute to arthritis, a vicious cycle as the joint pain then makes it harder to exercise and shed pounds.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and strokes were fairly low on the list, and infertility didn't get a mention, although that also can be a problem.

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