U.S. waistlines continue to grow

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gravy train — make that the sausage, biscuits and gravy train — just kept on rolling in most of America last year, with 31 states showing an increase in obesity.

Mississippi continued to lead the way. An estimated 29.5 percent of adults there are considered obese. That is an increase of 1.1 percentage points when compared with last year’s report, which is compiled by Trust for America’s Health, an advocacy group that promotes increased funding for public health programs.

Meanwhile, Colorado remains the leanest state. About 16.9 percent of its adults are considered obese. That mark was also up slightly from last year’s report, but not enough to be considered statistically significant.

nutrientrich.com – even though Colorado is on the verge of losing their #1 status, because they are on falling prey to the same eating trends as the rest of the nation, it’s no wonder they were #1, as they are a very active state and the state is home to many sporting, nutrition, health and fitness businesses. It’s been a mecca for outdoor activities. Colorado is still the leanest state with 47 percent of adults overweight or obese compared to 65 percent nationally http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7286507/ 

The only state that experienced a decrease in the percentage of obese adults last year was Nevada.

“Quick fixes and limited government programs have failed to stem the tide,” said Dr. Jeff Levi, executive director of the trust, in explaining the rise.

NutrienRich.com: The government should never be depended on for health care for as long as their are lobbyists, you can count on never getting the real scoop on health issues. The government does they best they can, but at the end of the day industry wins, when it comes to nutritional policy.

Health officials warn that the incidence of obesity in a particular state doesn’t mean it treats the issue less seriously than others. States have different challenges to contend with when it comes to obesity, said Dr. Janet Collins of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Populations are not equal in terms of experiencing these health problems,” Collins said. “Low-income populations tend to experience all the health problems we worry about at greater rates.”

nutrientrich.com: True, they are marketed to and are the bread basket of the fast food nation.

Indeed, the five states with the highest obesity rates — Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana and Kentucky — exhibit much higher rates of poverty than the national norm.

Meanwhile, the five states with the lowest obesity have less poverty. They are Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.

nutrientrich.com: follows economic trends and the values of the state. No surprise.

The leanest states shouldn’t take a whole lot of comfort in their ranking, though, said Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, a former CDC director.

“This epidemic is a nationwide epidemic. Some states are higher, some populations have it higher, but the trend has been up in every state, the trend has been up for every ethnic group, the trend has been up for rich and poor,” Koplan said.

nutrientrich.com: You don’t have to be poor to eat poor, diseases of affluence are called that because the affluent eat nutrient poor foods as well, that are calorie rich. Even the athletes are doing it. John Allen, founder, was doing a 24 hour mountain biking race this past weekend, and took note the 80% or more of the foods being eaten were nutrient poor. Amazing, how athletes think because they are burning 8000 calories a day, they think they can eat cookies and junk and it’s ok, with no consequence.

The group’s estimate of obesity rates is based on a three-year average, 2003-2005. The data comes from an annual random sampling of adults via the telephone. The information is designed to help the government measure behavioral risks among adults.

The government equates obesity with a body mass index, or BMI, of at least 30. Someone who is 5 feet 4 would have to weigh 175 pounds to reach that threshold.

The index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in pounds by his height in inches, squared, and multiplying that total by 703. For some people, particularly athletes who exercise a great deal, the BMI index could show them as being obese when in fact they are in excellent physical condition.

The Trust for America’s Health made scores of recommendations for reducing obesity. For example:

• Employers should offer their workers benefits that help them stay healthy, such as nutrition counseling and subsidized health club memberships.

• The government should mandate routine screenings that measure the fitness of Medicaid beneficiaries, plus subsidize or reimburse them for participating in exercise and fitness programs.

• At the local level, governments should approve zoning and land use laws that give people more chances to walk or bike to the store or to work. Local governments also should set aside more funding for sidewalks.

The group also makes recommendations for individuals. But the recommendations that people eat well and exercise are known to Americans. And clearly, many just don’t care to follow.

Collins said tobacco use is another area that could be labeled a personal choice, but government agencies have taken many steps to provide people with the environment and information they need to help them make their choices. The same should be done with obesity.

“I don’t want to discount the personal choice aspect of this, but there are health issues and there are health costs involved,” Collins said.

The report says those health costs are in the billions of dollars annually. Citing a 2004 report, the advocacy group said $5.6 billion could be saved when it comes to treating heart disease if just one-tenth of Americans began a regular walking program.

nutrientrich.com: The the Nutrient Rich Revolution press on! A NutrientRich diet and an active lifestyle plan as the pillars of a healthy high performing body, you need both!

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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