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New obesity report shows Kansas still struggling

The 16th annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report was released Thursday and Kansas has an obesity problem.

“Kansas has the 12th highest obesity rate in the nation,” said Trust for America’s Health President and CEO John Auerbach. “Not a good number.”

Obesity has serious health consequences including increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and many types of cancers.

“The rate in Kansas has gone up fairly steadily over the last few decades and it continues to do so,” said Auerbach. “There was a statistically significant increase in just the last year alone, resulting in an obesity percentage for adults in the state of greater than 34%.”

The report includes 31 recommendations for policy action by federal, state and local government.

“It is unrealistic and ineffective to say individuals just need to accept their own responsibility,” said Auerbach. “Certainly, there’s a level of personal responsibility that’s involved, but the reason the rates
have increased the way they have is because the conditions in people’s lives have changed, making it more difficult to eat healthy food, more difficult for there to be physical activity.”

The full report is available at tfah.org.

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