Two Futures for America’s HealthSaludToday Guest Blogger: Risa Lavizzo-Mourey
President and CEO, RWJF
Here are the main points I found interesting:
- RWJF and the Trust for America’s Health recently released our annual report,
- Obesity rates in the United States remain unacceptably high; the epidemic persists in affecting Blacks and Latinos disproportionately.
- This year’s F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future annual report examined how the obesity epidemic could impact our future 20 years from now.
- In 1995, Mississippi (currently, the state with the highest obesity rate) had an adult obesity rate of 19.4%, and Colorado had the lowest rate, 13.9%.
- According to the latest data, Colorado still has the lowest rate, but it has climbed to 20.7% . Today's lowest rate is higher than the highest rate back in 1995.
- It’s estimated that by 2030 adult obesity rates could reach or exceed 44% in every state—and could exceed 60% in 13 states. If so, new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could skyrocket.
- On the other hand, the analysis also shows that if the average adult body mass index (BMI) was decreased by only 5% in each state, we could save millions of Americans from serious health problems and save BILLIONS in health care spending—between 6.5 -7.8% in costs in almost every state.
- By 2030, this could equate to savings ranging from $1.1 BILLION in Wyoming to $81.7 BILLION in my home state of California.
- California, Mississippi and New York City are beginning to show decreases in overall rates of childhood obesity.
- Still, trends in these areas how that children who face the biggest obstacles to healthy choices and are at greatest risk for obesity do not always benefit even when progress is made.
- If effective action is taken, many Americans could be prevent developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. At the same time we can reduce health care spending and increase productivity creating a real and positive impact on the nation's economy.
- Investing in prevention today means a healthier, more productive and brighter future for our country.
Childhood and adult obesity is a critical issue, an urgent one. I feel that I do very little, but I do what I can. I take every opportunity I can to reach out to people and teach about living a healthy lifestyle and I put pressure on legislators and the government to push for healthier measures that benefit people; however, I feel that it begins with me. I try to be a good role-model and I lead by example. My Master's thesis actually is about it parental role modeling and the effects it can have on their children developing obesity. My fight against obesity is on-going.
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