Half of all adults in the US have at least one chronic condition, such as lung disease, diabetes, heart disease or obesity, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in The Lancet.

The paper — part of a new series in the journal, ‘The health of Americans’ — says the proportion of adult Americans who have two or more of these conditions is more than a quarter.

The researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the bulk of this morbidity could be prevented through the reduction of risk factors that fall within individuals’ control:

Both poor diet and physical inactivity are strongly associated with obesity. The researchers say:

“Compared with comparable high-income countries, the US is less healthy in areas such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.”

The authors from the CDC add that “chronic diseases are the main causes of poor health, disability, and death, and account for most of health care expenditures” in the US.