Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Meanwhile, Obesity Rates Keep Going Up And Up

This Reuters story reports on a public health advocacy group who warn that the obesity statistics across the United States are getting worse and worse and immediate action needs to be taken to stop this upward trend.

In a report released on Tuesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Trust for America's Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organizatin attempting to make disease prevention the goal of every community, they quoted new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which found there are currently an estimated 119 million, or nearly two-thirds of the population, of adults who can be classified as either overweight or obese in America today.

Even more frightening than that is the number is expected to get even worse as the percentage of obese adults grew from 23.7 percent in 2003 to 24.5 percent in 2004. Some medical researchers are even now predicting that obesity rates will reach 100 percent by the year 2044 for children and 2058 for adults. This crisis is real and needs immediate action.

The report from Trust for America's Health found that people who live in the southeastern part of the United States were most likely to be obese, with Mississippi boasting the most obese citizens at 29.5 percent of their population. Conversely, the state of Colorado had the fewest obese citizens by percentage -- only 16 percent.

Shelly Hearn, who serves as executive director of the Trust for America's Health, said this proves obesity is "a crisis of poor nutrition and physical inactivity in the U.S. and it's time we dealt with it."

"It's simple math out there -- we're eating more and exercising less, and it's time that we deal with it in a much more systematic and realistic way," she exclaimed.

Well, welcome to the bandwagon, Ms. Hearn. I've been banging that drum at my blog since I launched it in April after successfully losing 180 pounds on the Atkins diet in 2004. As a former 410-pounder, my heart aches for people who think there is no hope for their weight problem. I know better and have attempted to share my positive weight loss experience with the millions of people who suffer from obesity today.

Unfortunately, obesity isn't just about weight problems, but also many health issues as well. Physical ailments such as diabetes, heart attack, and stroke cost hardworking Americans billions upon billions of dollars annually on healthcare. This obesity epidemic will not go away on its own either.

I have said it many times that obesity is problem that we need to start taking more seriously. Our government and healthcare leaders should take a look at every option for tackling obesity and give the general public better information to make informed decisions about what to do if they are overweight or obese.

The recent increased focus on sodas in public schools as well as sugar's role in the obesity problem is an excellent start. But we must continue to build on this if we are ever going to see those obesity rates begin falling again.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home