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Fat Battle Is More Than Just Superficial

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

I've been trying to lose some weight this summer, and it hasn't been easy. You really do have to exercise regularly, and you simply have to eat less.

I've dropped a few pounds, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. The problem is I'm no less tempted when I see all those things I love to eat: muffins and Danish in the morning, dessert after dinner - ice cream.

It's time, though, that we all took a good look at ourselves in the mirror. New reports out this week say Americans are fatter than ever. Adult obesity rates are more than 25 percent in 19 states, and the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in recent years.

The cost of all this runs into the billions and trillions of dollars - diabetes, heart disease and chronic illnesses too numerous to mention.

If you think health care is expensive now, wait 10 years. If we keep getting fatter at current rates, it will be all but unaffordable. If you don't think that second helping is costing you something, you're dead wrong.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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