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Hot Topic Tuesday: How Can We Slow Down the Obesity Epidemic?

Written on September 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm , by

Some bad news for our scales. (Photo by Denise Crew)

By Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

Today, two organizations that campaign against the obesity epidemic in America have released statistics that point to a dark and unhealthy future. According to the Associated Press, this new report predicts that by 2030, the obesity (not just overweight) rate in 39 states will be over 50 percent. Let that sink in.  The two organizations, Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation used data collected by the CDC and other governmental sources and examined trends to make these predictions.

What’s even more stunning is that the obesity rate in the other 11 states and the capitol will be just under 50 percent, with Colorado coming in as the lightest state at 45 percent, and Washington, D.C. coming in at a cool 33 percent by 2030. Mississippi tops the list with a 67 percent obesity rate by 2030. According to the report by Trust for America’s Health, the national cost of treating the diseases stemming from this level of obesity will be a staggering $66 billion per year.

One-third of Americans are currently obese, and the CDC predicts that as a nation, a full 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030. The question is how can Americans turn the tide on this catastrophic number?

Now you tell us: What do you think is the most important factor in slowing America’s rising obesity rates?

  • Cat

    Most people want to come home from work and sit and watch television and eat. They don’t want to take a walk. They don’t want to hear they’re overweight. When you are overweight and tired from working an 8-hour day at a job you just don’t care for, why in the world would you want to come home, lace up and go for a walk? You don’t. You want to sit in front of the tv and zone out. Then have supper and zone out some more after supper. 
    The first thing is changing the minds of people. Perhaps telling people if you want to die an early death, stay the course you’re on. If you want to live longer, you need to make some changes. Perhaps putting together a list of foods they can change. Have it available at doctors’ offices, at hospitals, clinics, health fairs. 
    Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” can have a new meaning now.

  • Cat

    Meant to say, too, that people won’t change unless they want to change. Only they can make that decision. 

  • Illusions

    I’m not sure how accurate the figures can really be. I know several people the are considered very obese based solely on the number on the scale. However, the statistics don’t take into account all of those people the weigh more because of muscle and size. One person in particular is a PA who bikes many miles a week and spends a lot of time in the gym. I know there is an epidemic but again I just don’t know how accurate these “statistics” can be.

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    This is just mind blowing and sad to me. I think the issue is to much eating out. Americans r so busy during the day that when its time to cook a meal they turn to take out. Sure inactivity is a problem also but Im placing most of the blame on take out n nasty additives in food. I stick to a natural whole foods meal plan. I am determined to not only make a change with myself but also my family.

  • Vivian

    i think it stems from bad public transportation. american is a nation of cars. i was fittest when i lived in dc because i took the underground everywhere and walked all the places it didn’t reach.

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    People should drop their love for junk foods and go for organic foods. It’s also a responsibility of govt. to make organic foods cheaper than ever.

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  • S. Stadler

    I think many people have no self-control any more.  They do/eat what they want, when they want, with no thought of the consequences.  It’s also way too easy to eat junk — it’s cheap and it’s everywhere.

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