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LifestyleRetirement

Older, richer, fatter: 2 of 3 ain't bad

About 40 percent of households headed by

About 40 percent of households headed by a person 65 or older spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing-related costs, up significantly from 1985. Photo Credit: Fotolia

Americans are getting older and wider.

A comprehensive new report on aging from the federal government found that we're living longer and are better off economically than past generations, but obesity is a major concern.

"Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being" found the number of people older than 65 living below the poverty level fell to 9 percent from 15 percent in 1974. But the report also found a rising number of households are coping with a "high housing cost burden." About 40 percent of households headed by a person 65 or older spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing-related costs, up significantly from 1985.

Most troubling was the finding on obesity. About 38 percent of older Americans are obese. By comparison, 22 percent of older Americans were obese in 1988-1994. The report noted that obesity is a major cause of preventable disease and premature death.

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