The above map is an illustration of obesity trends in the US. It is blurry but you can just look at the colors to see where your state stands. Maroon has the highest percentage of obesity; red is next; yellow; then green.
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate that more than one-third of US adults (36.5%) are obese and approximately 12.7 million (17%) of children and adolescents are obese. These numbers are alarming and climbing every year!
- In 1990, up to 14% of US adults were obese
- In 1998, up to 24% of US adults were obese
- In 2006, up to 30% of US adults were obese
- In 2016, MORE THAN 35% OF US ADULTS WERE OBESE!!!!!!!
You can look at the map above to see obesity rates broken down by state (data from 2016-https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html ).
- West Virginia was the most obese state at 37.7%, followed by Mississippi at 37.3%
- The least obese state was Colorado at 22.3%, followed by the District of Columbia at 22.6%
- In 1990, all states were less than 15% obesity rate and by 2014, no state had an obesity rate lower than 21.3%, and some states were at 30%!!!!
OBESITY IS EXPENSIVE
Obesity related diseases account for 75% of healthcare costs in the US!!!! These numbers are astronomical!!! According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the top eight obesity related diseases include:
- Type 2 DM
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Lipid problems
- Cancer (especially breast, endometrial, colon, gallbladder, prostate and kidney)
- Heart disease
I bet you know at least one person that has one of the diseases above or you have one yourself. We have the power to change these staggering numbers and improve the health in our country!
HOW DO WE CHANGE THESE TRENDS?
- We need to educate ourselves first and then our children. We need to understand that obesity is MORE than just calories. Stress, sleep, environment, genetics, gut health, and exercise all play a role. It is a multifactorial.
- Understand targeted advertising- we can’t get rid of it so educate your children on the health risks associated with it.
- Beverage companies spent $866 million to advertise unhealthy drinks- this is four times the amount of money spent to advertise juice and water.
- Children and particular races are targeted
- Twice as many TV ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks were seen among black youth verse white youth
- Advertising for sugary drinks and energy drinks on the Spanish-language channel increased by 44%.
- Eat as CLEAN as possible. Choose whole, fresh foods. Choose organic or local farmers to cut back on pesticides and chemicals
- Cook at home so you have control of what you are putting into your bodies.
- Avoid processed foods and fast foods.
- Exercise and move daily.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Manage your stress- try yoga, meditation, acupuncture, or massage.
- Avoid high sugar and fat beverages- choose water!!!!
- Keep your children away from soda, juice, caffeine and energy drinks.
- Focus on gut health- if you suffer from constipation (you should be going at least once per day), diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, achy joints, acne, eczema, brain fog, etc….. you may need to better balance the bacteria in your gut. Talk to me or your healthcare provider on choosing an appropriate probiotic for your symptoms. There are different strains that target specific symptoms. You can also ask me about getting a food sensitivity test done to rule out foods and/or food chemicals causing inflammation in your body.
- Look into your genetics- there is now genetic testing you can have done to see which diseases and illnesses you are more prone to and how to decrease your likely hood of developing them. Pretty cool stuff!!!!!
IN SUMMARY, we do have control of our rising obesity trends. There is a lot we can do to become a healthier country and cut back on healthcare costs. Take a close look at yourself and your family and make positive changes in 2019!