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Is Obesity Ever Going To End?
According to Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), twelve states now have obesity rates above 30 percent. Four years ago, only one state was above 30 percent.
It’s not only adults that are having a problem with obesity, its kids too. Statistics show that in 2011, Mississippi ranked first in adult obesity and child obesity. There needs to be a stop to this. Obesity leads to many health problems: diabetes, heart disease, it can also affect a person’s joints, breathing, sleep, mood, and energy levels.
Statistics show that the obesity levels continue to rise most dramatically in the South, which includes nine of the 10 states with the highest adult obesity rates. States in the Northeast and West have lower rates. Mississippi maintained the highest adult obesity rate for the seventh year in a row, while Colorado has the lowest obesity rate and is the only state with a rate under 20 percent.
Statistics show that fifteen years ago, Mississippi had an obesity rate of 19.4 percent and was ranked most obese state in the nation. The obesity rate in Mississippi increased by 77 percent over the last 15 years. Mississippi had a combined obesity and overweight rate of 54.3 percent. Ten years ago, it was 61.1 percent. Now, the combined rate is 68.8 percent. In 1995, Mississippi had a diabetes rate of 6.5 percent. Now the diabetes rate is 11.8 percent. Adult obesity rates in Mississippi are 42.6 percent for Blacks. Rates of adult obesity for Latinos are 35.4 percent in Mississippi. The rates of adult obesity for Whites are 30.4 percent in Mississippi.
Statistics show that Colorado was named the least obese state in the country in 2011 and Colorado's adult obesity rate is 19.8 percent. Fifteen years ago, Colorado had an obesity rate of 10.7 percent and was ranked second least obese state in the nation. The obesity rate in Colorado increased more than 80 percent over the last 15 years. Also, fifteen years ago, Colorado had a combined obesity and overweight rate of 43.3 percent. Ten years ago, it was 48.4 percent. Now, the combined rate is 56.2 percent. Diabetes rates have doubled in ten states in the past 15 years. In 1995, Colorado had a diabetes rate of 3.6 percent. Now the diabetes rate is 5.9 percent. 15 years ago, Colorado had a hypertension rate of 21.3 percent. Now, the rate is 21.2 percent.
Adult obesity rates in Colorado are 27.9 percent for Blacks. Rates of adult obesity for Latinos are 24.8 percent in Colorado. The rates of adult obesity for Whites are 18.3 percent in Colorado. According to the data, 14.2 percent of children and adolescents in Colorado are considered obese.
In Westlake, Ohio when Rene Doubrava’s 10-year-old son hit 176 pounds and his 8-year-old brother nudged up to 105, she knew she had to make some big changes. Rene didn’t want her two sons to start another year of school pushing the limit to obesity.
Doubrava was right to be worried. Federal health experts say that the soda-swilling, video-watching habits of boys ages 6 to 19 mean that about 15 percent are now extremely obese, up from about 9 percent a decade ago.
Dr. Thomas Inge, director of the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center said, “If you’ve got a kid at the 95th percentile, you’d really better do something, and do something effective.”
Last spring, Doubrava decided to take action, thanks in part to the help of a Cleveland Clinic program that targets the heaviest kids and their families. She banned soda from her family’s refrigerator and cut out fast food and high-fat snacks. She filled bowls with fruit and platters with vegetables and she sent everyone outside for long walks and bicycle rides.
By the time Garrett, 10, started the fifth grade last month and Nathaniel, 8, entered second grade, both boys were taller and thinner, wearing the same size clothes as a year ago.
“People stopped calling me fat,” said Garrett, reached by phone at his family’s home.
“Every day he comes home and it’s “I’ve made a new friend, I’ve made a new friend,” said Doubrava, sounding relieved. “He’s certainly more confident in himself. It’s just better.”
There are many simple ways of avoiding obesity. People can start exercising more like swimming or going walking in the morning or at night or even using the stairs in a building instead of an elevator is exercise. Another choice is going on a diet and even just staying away from a lot of junk food. There are many ways of avoiding becoming obese.