Obesity epidemic's alarming growth

July 1, 2009
by Editorial Staff

Two-thirds of American adults are now either overweight or obese. This alarming news was released today in a new report: F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009. The report, a joint effort by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), examines changes in obesity rates on a state level.

Obesity rates have increased in 23 states with the highest (Mississippi) weighing in at 32.5% of their adult population being obese. The south does not seem to be fairing well in controlling the rising rates as 8 out 10 of the highest percentages are in southern states. Colorado has maintained its rank in last place at 18.9%.

As a nation, this increases in health problems, means a huge jump in medical costs. "Our health care costs have grown along with our waist lines," says Jeff Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Medicare expenditures are currently $1400 to $6000 higher each year for an obese senior than for one who is not obese.

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