The new numbers highlight an old problem in our country….too many weigh too much and we’re seeing far too little improvement. A new study, just released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, claims that a staggering 1-in-3 Americans is beyond overweight.
One-third of American adults and one in six children are now obese, although an annual report released Thursday by two nonprofit groups found that rates could be stabilizing.
The report released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that West Virginia had the highest obesity rate at 37.7 percent. Mississippi was second at 37.3 percent and Alabama and Arkansas were tied for third at 35.7 percent.
The report says the adult obesity rate increased between 2015 and 2016 in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington and West Virginia, fell in Kansas, and was stable elsewhere. Colorado had the lowest rate, at 22.3 percent.
So, how did our state fare in the rankings? Well, Arizona falls pretty much in the middle of the pack with an obesity rate of 29 percent – the 29th highest rate in the country.
The fact that obesity rates appear to be leveling off across the country is seen as a positive step in many health circles. However, the fact that more than 30 percent of U.S. adults are obese shows there is still considerable work to be done.
MedicalXpress.com quoted Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, as saying:
“After decades of sharp increases, this counts as a significant achievement. But with rates still far too high among both adults and kids, particularly among low-income and minority communities, leaders at all levels of government—local, state and federal—must take action and build on this progress.”
According to CBS News, “The new report recommends focusing on early childhood prevention efforts, including promoting , expanding investments in community-based programs, increasing health-care coverage for and treatment, and improving school-based efforts to provide healthy meals and physical activities.”
The Washington Examiner noted that the report suggests the obesity epidemic is even making things more difficult on the U.S. military.
Nearly one-quarter of military recruits are rejected because they are obese and it costs the Pentagon $1 billion a year in added health care costs for obese troops and their families.
More stunning, said the comprehensive 101-page report: ” 70 percent of today’s youth are not fit to serve in the military due to obesity or being overweight, criminal records, drug misuse or educational deficits.”
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this new report and how we can help Arizonans fight the battle of the bulge. The better we fare in the obesity rankings – the healthier we become. And the healthier we become, the closer we move toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!