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Published November 11, 2012, 09:34 PM

Lack of exercise is as deadly as smoking

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Studies show we're on pace toward a super-sized epidemic. By the year 2030 studies predict nearly half of the people in the U-S will be obese.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Studies show we're on pace toward a super-sized epidemic. By the year 2030 studies predict nearly half of the people in the U-S will be obese.

Right now just more than a third of the country is obese, and about two-thirds is overweight. And you don't have to look at "people" to know we're getting bigger, you can see it in "things" all around us.

The dangers of not exercising, combined with lack of a healthy diet are being examined through a microscope, and the results are deadly.

For decades we've had a "smoking will kill" message drilled into our heads.

Countless graphic commercials grabbing our attention about the deadliest slow-killer out there.

Well move over smoking, in the decades to come expect to hear about our next mass-killer, lack of exercise. Research shows not enough exercise is now killing as many people as smoking.

Don Martin/Operations Manager: "the biggest thing is trying to get the patient on to here."

In his 19 years with F-M ambulance, Don Martin has seen first hands the effects of obesity, and with his patients growing bigger, the equipment needs to follow.

This bariatric bed can hold 1-thousand pounds, and the electric lift can handle 700 pounds.

Martin says EMT's are having to use this bed more often, for patients who many of us my consider an average person, but he or she can't fit on the standard gurney.

Martin: "with that cot you can have space on either side once you put this cot in there's no moving around."

These changes stretch far beyond the ambulance. As movie theaters super-sized popcorn tubs and pop cups, the seats got bigger too. From 20 inches wide in the 1980s to now spanning about 26 inches.

If the scientific research holds true and weight does begin to kill more people, rest assured that you'll fit in your coffin, because that too is now bigger.

More than half of the coffins built at The Northwestern Casket Company in New Hope, Minnesota are now considered over-sized.

Tom Dunleavy/Northwestern Casket Company: "we sell the caskets to meet the population, and as the population gets larger, our caskets get larger."

It's A grim visual but there is a bright side. A fix that's not always easy, exercise along with an apple or two a day and you can keep the over-sized casket away.

Studies show if a quarter of inactive adults would exercise it'd prevent more than a million deaths a year worldwide.

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