Office Visit: Obesity affects all

September 27, 2011
by Dr. Joseph Cunningham, chief medical officer and vice president of health care management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.
Journal Record (Oklahoma)

I recently saw an image of a swing set that was broken. Underneath it said “It is not the children’s fault.” What better image for us all to keep in mind as we wrap up Childhood Obesity Month.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, nearly one in every three Oklahoma children are overweight or obese. And those children are growing up facing health issues that were once rarely seen in youth, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, blood and joint problems, asthma, sleep apnea and elevated blood-cholesterol levels.

The Trust for America’s Health reports that 20 years ago not a single state had an obesity rate over 15 percent. Today, 38 states have obesity rates over 25 percent. The Oklahoma State Department of Health says that nearly 67 percent of Oklahoma adults are either overweight or obese, and the number is 34 percent for Oklahoma youths.

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