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Commutes not getting friendlier

You can watch a syndicated episode of "Friends" in less time than it takes the average Gwinnett County resident to commute to work. You can enjoy more laughs doing that as well.

The average Gwinnett driver spends 31.5 minutes commuting to work, ranking the county 52nd nationally, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Gwinnett's commuting woes are just part of the problem in Atlanta, which has 10 counties in the top 50 nationwide.

But the tough commute should come as no surprise, considering Gwinnett's burgeoning population and the fact that such a miniscule percentage of the county's residents use public transportation.

With the population increasing and moving toward northern Gwinnett, the one thing for certain is that commuters better get used to being friends with their cars.

South tips scales with obesity rates

Labor Day and the cookouts that accompanied it are gone, but our ranking among states with the highest percentage of obese adults is still very much with us. In the report, done by Trust for America's Health, Georgia ranked No. 12 with 25.5 percent of adults living in the state considered obese.

In fact, the top of the list had a very Southern flair with eight of the top 10 most obese states hailing from our region. Mississippi and Alabama held the top two spots in the report, which was conducted from 2003 to 2005, but Georgia's stats were nothing to write home about:

• 61 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese

• 12.4 percent of high school students are overweight

• 7.8 percent of adults have diabetes

• 27.1 percent have hypertension

The states with the highest obesity numbers corresponded with the states sporting the highest poverty rates, showing that socioeconomic factors certainly played a part.

But the report, which showed only Nevada having a decrease in its percentage of obese adults over the past year, serves as a reminder that a majority of us need to be weight watchers.

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