WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTHV) - Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) releases their 2011 report about America's obesity epidemic.
The report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, includes a look at national and state obesity rates for 2011 and ranks states by their rates. The eighth annual report examines how the obesity epidemic has grown over the past two decades. It also includes a series of recommendations from TFAH and RWJF about how policymakers and the food and beverage industry can help reverse the epidemic.
Arkansas was named the ninth most obese state in the country. Adult obesity rates increased in 16 states in the past year and did not decline in any state. Twelve states including Arkansas now have obesity rates over 30 percent.
Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson says many residents are facing chronic health conditions, that stem from obesity. Conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Economics play a key role in this too. Dr. Thompson says accessibility to health care should be a key focus for our state.
16 states saw obesity rates increase, with none showing any decline. States that have seen the fastest growth, Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee, while Washington D.C, Colorado and Connecticut had the slowest increase.
Obesity, considered an epidemic, costs the country over a hundred billion dollars, in preventable health care costs. President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey says, "If we don't reverse the obesity epidemic, the current generation of young people could be the first in U.S. history to live sicker and die younger than their parents' generation."
Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey says they rank states in order to raise awareness, point to solutions and reverse the epidemic.
Dr. Thompson says the upside to this report is that Arkansas has lowered its number in the report (starting out ranked 5th when the report began). He also said we've done lots to address childhood obesity.