The newest obesity statistics: we're even fatter

I read an article recently in the "Wall Street Journal" about the CDC releasing the latest obesity statistics. Two hours later, as is my norm, I went to the original documents and found, on the CDC website, the press release and some thoughts from VADM Regina Benjamin, the new Public Health Service Surgeon General.

Ten years ago, 28 of our states had adult obesity rates under 20% (the real goal is under 15% by the way). Now (as of the 2009 survey), looking at the national map on the CDC website, only Colorado (at 18.6%) and Washington, DC, fit into the less than 20% category.

Ten years ago no state had an obesity rate over 30%; now nine do. Their location interests me; they're all clustered together and basically in the south east. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. The worst of the lot is Mississippi, where 34.4% of adults are obese.

The national overall average is 26.7% of adults over 20 years old being obese. That translates into nearly another two and a half million Americans ballooning up into the obese category since the last survey done only two years ago. There are lots of mildly overweight people who exercise and are metabolically felt to be healthy. But when I watch television news ans see photos of groups, the really obese stand out and I don't think they're healthy at all.

VADM Benjamin's statements are right on target. She notes that 70% of American Indians and Alaskan Natives are overweight or obese, non-Hispanic black adults have a 36.8% obesity rate (women in this category have a 41.9% rate), that an obese teenager has a 70% greater risk of becoming an obese adult, that non-Hispanic black teens have a higher obesity rate (29%) than Hispanic teens (17.5%) or non-Hispanic white teens ((14.5%) and that we, as a nation, have to do something about this gloomy picture.

Her proposed program is worth reading and can be found by searching for her by name; she feels all components of our society need to attack this horrendous issue in order for us to be successful: our communities, individuals, child care sites, schools, work places and our medical practitioners.

You might think it's routine for doctors and others in the medical community to evaluate patients for weight issues and spend time talking with them about diet and exercise solutions. But surveys show it's not. That really needs to change.

But so does our own food selection and our food-related industries practices of adding sugars, salt and fats to so many processed foods and, not least, our government's indirect support for less-healthy food choices. A subsidy or tax break directed at locally owned organic fruits and vegetables may seem a radical idea, but I think it would help many of our overweight and obese citizens by making healthy food choices cheaper.

2 Responses to “The newest obesity statistics: we're even fatter”

  1. Hi, Peter, I'm here to respond to your comment on clickable links.

    To do that, you need to add more than just the carets. The whole thing looks like this:

    left caret no space a space href="http://your blog url"rightcaretPeter Springbergleft caret/aright caret

    The first part would be Peter Springbert

    Now put it all together as Peter Springberg

    At least in Blogger blogs that will become a clickable link and the only thing that will show is your name.

  2. Well, that demo didn't work out so well because it didn't print the three partial elements I typed to demonstrate the 3 pieces of the puzzle. Apparently your program rejects incomplete html code altogether.

    In my spelled out phrase, the letter a is part of the code, so you need to type it in.

    Try it again, and if you can't get it to work, go to this blog's demo which is, I think, a little more clear:

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