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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Obesity Epidemic Continues

Sorry, Mississippi--based on this year's obesity rankings, you've managed to retain the tile of fattest state. But although the South struggles most with obesity, the problem is truly nationwide: 23 states saw their obesity rates rise over the past year, and no state saw a significant decline.

The statistics are startling:
  • In 31 states, more than one in four adults are obese.
  • In 1991, no state had a rate of obesity greater than 20%. Today, the only state that doesn't is Colorado.
  • In every state, obesity rates are higher among older baby boomers (aged 55 to 64) than among those 65 and older.
Each year, Medicare shells out between $1,400 and $6,000 more for an obese senior than for the non-obese, making that last statistic especially troubling.

A nationwide epidemic requires a nationwide solution, according to Jeff Levi, executive director of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health. "[This problem is] not going to be solved in the doctor's office but in the community, where we change norms."

So what ideas do you have? How can we reverse this trend?

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