Chubby isn’t cheap

July 25, 2011 —

Americans are continuing to supersize, reports Kaiser Health News blog. According to a report titled “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America‘s Future 2011” by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the adult obesity rates increased in 16 states last year and did not go down in a single state. Just four years ago, only one state had obesity rates above 30 percent. Now 12 states do. Our ever-growing girth raises health risks and ultimately adds to the cost of health care, the report states.

For too many Americans, the scale continues to climb.

Obesity rates have doubled in seven states since 1995 and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others. Rates grew fastest in Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee. The report contains a state-by-state ranking.

“Today, the state with the lowest obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995,” the trust’s Executive Director Jeff Levi said in a summary of the report. “There was a clear tipping point in our national weight gain over the last twenty years, and we can’t afford to ignore the impact obesity has on our health and corresponding health care spending.”

The researchers add that the United States already spends more than $150 billion each year on health care costs linked to obesity, an amount that is expected to grow right along with our waistlines. The report calls for restoration of some federal nutrition programs and urges Congress not to cut back on the $15 billion promised to the Public Health and Prevention Fund over the next decade, part of the federal health care overhaul law.

What are you doing to help yourself and/or your patients, family members and friends avoid weight gain? How can we as a nation reverse the obesity trend and improve our health?


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.