SILVER SPRING, Md. (CBS BALTIMORE/AP) — A new Gallup Poll revealed that just more than 36 percent of Americans are overweight.

According to the results of the survey, published Wednesday on Gallup’s website, a reported 36.1 percent of Americans were considered to be overweight last year, and 26.2 percent were classified as obese.

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More than 350,000 American adults participated in the survey, volunteering their weights and heights – the standard measurements used by doctors and other health experts, including the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index, to determine a person’s body mass index (BMI).

Any person with a BMI over 25 is reportedly considered to be overweight. Additionally, a person with a BMI of 30 or higher is generally categorized as obese, and a person whose BMI is 40 or more is deemed morbidly obese, according to the World Health Organization.

The poll cited blacks, people between the ages of 45 and 64 and people with annual incomes falling below $36,000 to be the most obese.

In light of present facts and figures regarding obesity, the Obesity Society in Silver Spring, Md., remarked upon the need for an increase in the amount of funding allocated to obesity research, to combat the ever-growing problem of the nation’s ever-growing waistlines.

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“The health burden of obesity, measured by quality-adjusted life-years lost per U.S. adult, has surpassed that of smoking to become the most serious, preventable cause of death in the U.S.,” a release posted on the Society’s website states.

The notice added, “Given the enormous public health crisis obesity represents now and will continue to represent, the Obesity Society recommends at least doubling the government investment in obesity research, in a variety of novel areas, over the next five years to produce a breakthrough in our approach to this disease.”

Not all of the recent news regarding weight in the United States has been negative, however, in fact, childhood obesity appears to be on the decline in certain parts of the country.

A study released Thursday compared obesity rates for young poor children in the nation’s two largest cities over nine years. Rates dipped in New York from about 19 percent to 16 percent. The study joins other recent reports of declines in childhood obesity rates in places like Philadelphia, Anchorage and Kearney, Neb.

However, in Los Angeles, they rose from 17 percent to more than 21 percent before dropping to about 20 percent.

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