You probably think I sound like a broken record because I’m always writing about obesity… but it really is the dominant public health issue of our time. Last week, the CDC released its latest Vital Signs report called “State-Specific Obesity Prevalence Among Adults – United States, 2009,”… which finds that nine states had an obesity rate of 30 percent or higher in 2009. In comparison, no state had an obesity rate of 30% or more 10 years ago. The report also finds that people who are obese incurred $1,429 per person more in medical costs every year when compared to people of healthy weight, and that the nation’s total medical costs of obesity were $147 billion in 2008. OK that’s the problem- so what’s the solution?
The solution is a combination of public policy changes and community planning, combined with better education and personal responsibility. For example, people need to eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in fat and sugar; drink more water instead of sugary drinks; be more physically active; and watch less TV. As a society, we need to promote policies and programs at school, at work and in the community that make the healthy choice the easy choice. You can read a lot more on the CDC’s Vital Signs Adult Obesity website.