The Obesity Epidemic


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. For many of these conditions, diet is a contributing factor. Check out the obesity prevalence by state for 2011:

  • Obesity prevalence ranged from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi.
  • No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.
  • 39 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states had a prevalence of 30% or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
  • The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (29.5%), followed by the Midwest (29.0%), the Northeast (25.3%) and the West (24.3%).

Learn more in this  video called “The Obesity Epidemic,” which addresses the challenges of obesity in our country, especially food and eating behaviors. As a major contributor to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., it’s time to evolve our communities into places that strongly support healthy eating and active living.

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4 responses to “The Obesity Epidemic

  1. IOM also has a report out for those who want to dig deeper: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2012/Accelerating-Progress-in-Obesity-Prevention.aspx

    I question whether they call for enough structural change, though. It’s hard to imagine any real progress being made without making very dramatic changes to the way our food is marketed, sold, and eaten. Physical activity is great, and important for good health, but our input/output is so skewed that it’s nearly impossible to successfully addres the problem via the output.

    • Great feedback, Stephanie. I think you’re on the mark. All the marketing that goes on about food on TV doesn’t help. We’re not taught to eat when we’re hungry; we’re taught to eat because we feel like it, or it looks good, or to solve an emotional need such as loneliness. Thanks for your comment and for sharing the IOM report!

  2. Important topic. Thoughtful comment. My sister (a Nurse Practitioner) also points to obesity being a condition linked to poverty and lack of education. There are other causes, of course, but without knowing how to prepare good food (from scratch) and/or having the disposable income for better quality food, the default is pizza and chicken nuggets.

    • Exactly, Kate. And the food deserts aren’t helping the situation….so many people only have access to convenient stores and fast food instead of real food. Choices are so limited in these places, on top of the lack of education and experience in cooking. Thanks for your comment!

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