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Welcome to the Fat Apple.

One out of six New York adults is obese and more than half are overweight, according to an alarming study released yesterday by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Of the 980,000 New York adults categorized as obese, African-Americans, Hispanics and poor people are particularly struggling with the battle of the bulge.

"It's not surprising that there is a correlation between socio-economic status and health indicators," said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, whose constituents have the highest incidence of obesity - 24 percent of adults - in the city.

Obesity is a category based on a person's body mass index (BMI), which takes both height and weight into account.

For example, someone 5-foot-9 would be considered overweight at 170 pounds and obese at 204.

More than 20 percent of Brooklynites are in the worst-news category - hardly news to Beep Marty Markowitz.

"These numbers illustrate what we've been highlighting in Brooklyn for almost the last two years - obesity is a serious medical crisis [that] can't be ignored," said Markowitz, who's had a long-standing struggle with weight gain himself.

Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan have obesity rates of 18 percent, 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Though obesity rates in New York City are on average slightly lower than the 21-percent national average, nearly one in three New Yorkers in some neighborhoods - including central and East Harlem, the South Bronx and East New York, Brooklyn - are obese.

Some further gut-wrenching statistics:

* 35 percent of New Yorkers making less than $25,000 a year are overweight.

* Although there are far more overweight men than women in the city, 20 percent of women are obese, versus 16 percent of men.

* More than 40 percent of New York's obese are between 30 and 49 and, within that group, 18 percent are obese.

"Unlike almost every other epidemic over which public health is gaining control, obesity is going in the wrong direction fast," Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said.

The Health Department recommends four days of exercise a week and a better diet as a way to combat the fat.

"Just 30 minutes of brisk walking on most or all days can help you feel better, be healthier and can save your life," said Frieden.

Without athletic activity and a healthy diet, people are more likely to contract diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer, according to the DOH.

Both Carrión and Markowitz have launched borough-wide programs aimed at helping New Yorkers trim their waistlines.

The "Healthy Bronx Campaign" and "Lighten Up Brooklyn - Fitness Forever" educate residents on the dangers of obesity.

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