Alarming New Numbers

obesityObesity numbers just hit a new high…..or a new low depending on your perspective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report that claims a staggering 40 percent of American adults are obese.

According to USA Today, “Obesity rates in the U.S. have hit a new high, and public health experts are renewing calls for an aggressive shift in strategy — one that would change the food environment through initiatives such as soda taxes, rather than just focusing on behavior.”

Nearly four out of 10 U.S. adults were considered obese in 2015-2016, a 30% increase from 1999-2000, according to recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. 

“The individual choice model for obesity prevention is not working,” said Sara Benjamin Neelon, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.

Time Magazine added:

Though obesity rates among adults and youth have not changed significantly in the last couple of years, they remain on the rise. Another recent study revealed that worldwide, the number of young people ages 5-19 who are obese has increased ten-fold from 1975 to 2016.

Similar findings have been seen among children in the U.S., where the childhood obesity rate nears 20%. The rate of young Americans with obesity has increased 33% from 2000 to 2016. For adults, the rate has increased by about 30%.


And pointed out a scary statistic that shows nearly all cancers associated with obesity are on the rise. “Only the colorectal cancer rate – down 23 percent since 2005 – is going in the right direction, thanks to effective screening and awareness efforts. But alarmingly, rates for the 12 other cancers associated with overweight and obesity have actually risen seven percent in the last decade. That is a disappointing turn, especially when compared to cancers not associated with excess body weight, which dropped 13 percent during the same period.”

ABC15 in Phoenix also weighed in on the obesity problem saying –

The youth trend is one of the most disturbing aspects of the research, given that younger people are more likely to stay obese and that childhoold obesity is linked to an early death in adulthood. One in ten preschoolers aged 2-5, one in five children aged 6-11 and one in five adolescents aged 12-19 fall into the obesity category.

This is all just part of a massive problem across U.S. society. Over 70 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, meaning people with a normal weight level are now a minority.

Share your thoughts on the new research and how we can better battle this growing problem in our state and our nation. Do we need an aggressive shift in strategy (such as a soda tax)? Or do you believe there are innovative approaches we have not yet tried? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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