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The editors at Top Masters in Public Health decided to research the topic of:
America's Battle With Obesity
One-third of children are overweight or obese and more than one-third of adults are obese in America. States are stepping in with legislation to counter the issue, but is America still headed for a plus-sized health crisis?
Children and Obesity
Four decades of rising obesity
- 1974 5.0%
- 1980 5.5%
- 1994 10.0%
- 2000 13.9%
- 2002 15.4%
- 2004 17.1%
- 2006 15.5%
- 2008 16.9%
- 2010 14.94%
The number of obese children has tripled since the 1970s.
- 14.94% of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese.
- 31.7% are either obese or overweight.
- 70% chance an overweight/obese adolescent will be overweight/obese as an adult.
Adults and Obesity
- 35.7% of adults are obese.
- 2008 Medical costs associated with obesity: $147 billion.
- That's $1,429 extra for each obese person.
- In 2011, no state had an obesity rate lower than 20%.
- Lowest rate: Colorado at 20.7%.
- Highest rate: Mississippi at 34.9%.
- 12 states adopted child nutrition laws to improve school meals and help combat obesity in children.
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
Diabetes Screening and Care
- Regional screening program in Texas
- Statewide screening program in Illinois
- Student or medical professional care in:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- California and D.C. enacted tax incentives to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
- California: Tax credit to farmers who donate fresh produce.
- D.C.: Establishment of a program to attract grocery stores to underserved areas.
- Stores must accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and apply to accept Women, Infants, Children (WIC) benefits, and make healthy foods available.
Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA)
- Provides access to nutritional food for children.
- 141 new grocery stores were built in "food deserts" to make healthy choices more accessible.
- Provides access to increased physical activity for children.
- 8,100 new physical activity opportunities for children were offered in 2012.
- 2,951,191 kids got moving as a result.
- Studies show insignificant difference between weight in children who were exposed to junk food and those who were not, suggesting junk food laws would not prevent obesity.
- Child obesity rates declined from 16.9% to 14.94% between 2008 and 2010.
- If this trend continues, we will see a significant decrease in obesity rates by 2020.
- Addressing the problem with children using initiatives like PHA is key to producing a generation of healthy adults.
- By handling the issue now:
- The projection that half of Americans will be obese by 2030 is: