Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) have just released The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. The 15th annual report provides state-by-state rankings of adult obesity rates and includes information on trends by region, age, and ethnicity.
“Thirty-two point four percent of adults had obesity in Kansas in 2017,” said TFAH Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Dr. Nadine Gracia. “That makes it about the 18th highest rate in the nation. That’s an increase over 2016, which is concerning, because the obesity rate in the state had actually declined between the years of 2015 and 2016.”
The obesity rate is figured differently for children and adults.
“For adults, we’re looking at Body Mass Index,” said Dr. Gracia. “It’s basically looking at an individual’s body fat in comparison to what we consider to be healthy. For adults, obesity is having a Body Mass Index of 30 and above. When we speak about children between the ages of 2 to 19, obesity is having a Body Mass Index that is either at or above the 95th percentile.”
There are many causes that have come together to result in higher obesity rates.
“Obesity is really a complex problem,” said Dr. Gracia. “There are multiple factors that can contribute to obesity. There are economic factors. There are policy factors. There’s the conditions in which people live, where people work and what they have access to.”
To look at the full state-by-state report, go to StateofObesity.org.