America weighs in at F (as in Fat)
A new report released this month warned about the growing obesity rate in America and the resulting dire health and economic consequences.
The report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future,” found two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children and teens are either obese or overweight. This puts millions of Americans at risk of weight-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
“Obesity is one of the most challenging health crises the country has ever faced,” according to Trust for America’s Health, the organization that commissioned the report. “It’s not just our health is suffering: obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy.”
The report’s findings reveal how America’s weight problems have worsened within a short period of time:
- 65% of American adults are obese or overweight compared to just 15% in 1980 and 34% in 2008.
- Adult obesity rates rose in 16 states just in the past year and no state have reported any decrease.
- Nearly one third of adults in these 12 states are obese: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Only one state reported a higher than 30% obesity rate just four years ago. The problem is getting worse, not better.
- 16.4% of children ages 10 to 17 are obese and 18.2% are overweight. More than a third of American children and teens are at risk for chronic health problems.
The recent spike in obesity rates can be attributed to several factors including limited access to nutritious food, the prevalence of sugar-laden drinks in schools, and low-density community planning that encourages driving and a sedentary lifestyle. To learn more about pending state legislations to combat obesity, please download the supplement report here.
- Trust for America’s Health: F as in Fat: How obesity threatens America’s future (PDF)
- Trust for America’s Health: Obesity-related legislation supplemental report (PDF)