(Baptist Health) – Health trends come and go. Here’s a current one that is potentially troubling: The number of adults with obesity is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Data collected by CDC suggests that at least 35% of adults in 19 states and two U.S. territories are considered obese—meaning they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Since 2018, the number of states with high obesity rates has doubled.

Adults who are obese are at higher risk of developing a number of serious health problems. These include:

  • Heart disease and stroke.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Many kinds of cancer.
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Sleep apnea.

Moving toward a healthier weight

It’s not easy to lose weight or keep it off. But there are steps you can take to either stay at a healthy weight or shed some pounds. You’ve probably read these tips before. But it’s always good to think about them again:

Stay active. Make time each week for exercise. It helps you burn calories and is especially effective at weight loss when combined with eating fewer calories. Start slowly if you haven’t exercised in a while—even a small increase in physical activity will help. Over time, you can start to do more exercise. Aim to work up to about two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.

Choose a healthy diet. In addition to moving more, try to make your diet as healthy as possible. A good food plan is all about balance. Make sure to include fruits and vegetables, as well as whole-grain foods and lower-fat dairy. And when eating meat, try to choose leaner varieties, including fish. Enjoy other types of protein, too, such as eggs and legumes. Keep foods and drinks with added sugars to a minimum.

Here is more on how to exercise effectively when you are overweight.