The number of US residents who are severely obese shot up by 70 percent in the past decade or so, though the increase has slowed in more recent years, according to a US study.

Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of US residents who were severely obese - at least 45 kilograms (100 lbs) overweight - rose from 4 percent to almost 7 percent, said researchers whose findings appeared in the International Journal of Obesity.

The increase showed signs of slowing after 2005, they added. But the bad news is that the severely obese remain the fastest-growing segment of obese Americans, said study leader Roland Sturm, a senior economist at the non-profit research institute RAND Corporation.

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