Posts tagged obesity rates
While U.S. obesity rates appear to have leveled off, Hispanics and Blacks have strikingly higher obesity rates than their White and Asian peers, Bloomberg reports.
The good news is that overall adult obesity is not rising.
About one-third of American adults (about 78 million people) are obese, about the same number as across the last decade, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report was led by researcher Dr. Cynthia L. Ogden.
But racial/ethnic disparities in obesity rates continue to be alarming.
About 43 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of blacks are obese, compared with 33 percent of whites and 11 percent of Asians, Bloomberg reports.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director the Salud America! Latino childhood obesity research network at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, said more educational and research efforts are needed to reduce obesity among Latinos, especially because of high obesity rates among Latino kids.
“We need to work to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and generate a culture of health for Latinos and the nation,” Ramirez said. “We can’t let this be the first generation of children that might outlive their parents.”
Find the latest advances in Latino health—from cancer survivorship to obesity prevention—in IHPR Noticias, the newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
IHPR Noticias has these stories and more:
- Studies: Three Survivors Find Hermandad (Pg 1)
- Profile: From Sundae Sunday to Public Health…The Story of the IHPR’s Shannon Baldwin (Pg 2)
- Story: Research Highlights Ways to Prevent Latino Childhood Obesity (Pg 3)
- Story: Employees Take Healthy Eating, Exercise Challenges (Pg 4)
- Story and Video: San Antonio Reports Significant Drop in Obesity Rates (Pg 6)
- Story: Latino Teens Have Low Vaccine Rates (Pg 7)
- Story: Hispanic High School Grads Pass Whites in Rate of College Enrollment (Pg 8)
IHPR Noticias is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have story ideas.
Latinos’ obesity and diabetes rates continue to be alarming, experts say.
But the news isn’t all bad: Latinos’ rates of premature death, death due to cancers, cardiovascular deaths and infant mortality all improved, according to an NBC Latino report on the new America’s Health Rankings.
The rankings, which comes from the United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, looks at 24 measures of health, including tobacco and alcohol abuse, exercise, infectious diseases, crime rates, premature birth rates and cancer and heart disease rates. The report ranks the states based on those indicators.
Vermont tops the list of healthiest states for the fourth-straight year. Vermont’s strengths include its number one position for all health determinants combined, which includes ranking in the top 10 states for a high rate of high school graduation, a low violent crime rate, a low incidence of infectious disease, etc.
Hawaii is ranked as second-healthiest, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Texas ranks 40th.
Mississippi and Louisiana tie for 49th as the least healthy states. Mississippi ranks in the bottom 5 states on 12 of the 24 measures including a high prevalence of obesity, a high prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle, a low high school graduation rate, limited availability of primary care physicians, a high prevalence of low birthweight infants, and a high prevalence of diabetes.
On a positive note, New Jersey (18% Latino) and Colorado (21% Latino) were two of the states that saw great improvement in health ranking measures, with New Jersey improving on nine different measures and Colorado improving across five different categories, according to the NBC Latino report.
See how your state ranks here.
America’s obesity epidemic is so deeply rooted that it will take dramatic and systemic measures—from overhauling farm policies and zoning laws to, possibly, introducing a soda tax—to fix it, according to a new report released May 8, 2012, by the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM), Reuters reports.
The 478-page report, according to Reuters, refutes the idea that obesity is largely the result of a lack of willpower on the part of individuals:
Instead, it embraces policy proposals that have met with stiff resistance from the food industry and lawmakers, arguing that multiple strategies will be needed to make the U.S. environment less “obesogenic.”
The IOM, part of the National Academies, offers advice to the government and others on health issues. Its report was released at the Weight of the Nation conference, a three-day meeting hosted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cable channel HBO will air a documentary of the same name next week.
“People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese,” committee member Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine told Reuters. “That advice will never be out of date. But when you see the increase in obesity you ask, what changed? And the answer is, the environment. The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment.”
Earlier this week, a CDC-funded study projected that by 2030, 42% of American adults will be obese, compared to 34% today.
The staggering human toll of obesity-related chronic disease and disability, and an annual cost of $190.2 billion for treating obesity-related illness, underscore the need to strengthen prevention efforts.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the IOM to identify catalysts that could speed progress in obesity prevention. The IOM evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and identified recommendations to meet the following goals and accelerate progress:
- Integrate physical activity every day in every way
- Make healthy foods available everywhere
- Marketing what matters for a healthy life
- Activating employers and health care professionals
- Strengthening schools as the heart of health
Forty years ago, nearly half of all students walked or biked to school. Now, only 14 percent do.
Why the change?
One major factor is school siting, the decisions school leaders make about where to build or rehabilitate schools. Over the past several decades, schools have increasingly been built on the outskirts of communities, too far from children’s homes for walking or biking to be practical. Meanwhile, obesity rates in children and adolescents have more than tripled, and a third of children are overweight or obese.
Locating schools closer to where families live can make it easier for kids to walk and bike to school—and more convenient for families to use school fields and other facilities after hours, when school is closed. When it comes to ethnicity and socioeconomic status, however, few neighborhoods are well integrated, which means students in neighborhood-based schools can be highly segregated, too.
But there are lots of ways to support both walkable and diverse schools. To help districts nationwide make school siting decisions that support their students’ health and educational success, Changelab Solutions has released a set of model school siting policies and other materials.