According to the Trust for America's Health, Americans are getting bigger and bigger and South Carolina is one of top ten fattest states.
Growing by 1% over last year's numbers, South Carolina is ranks eighth in terms of the fattest states in the union with 30.9% obese residents. Adult obesity rates did not decline in any state and went up in sixteen. Further, twelve states now have obesity rates over 30%, whereas only one state was at that level five years ago.
This year, for the first time, the report examined how the obesity epidemic has grown over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent.
Those are some scary numbers, but the Trust for America's Health folks do have a list of suggestions to help curb our nation's ever-growing belt line:
- Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund: TFAH and RWJF recommend that the fund not be cut, that a significant portion be used for obesity prevention, and that it not be used to offset or justify cuts to other Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs.
- Implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act: TFAH and RWJF recommend that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issue a final rule as swiftly as possible regarding school meal regulations and issue strong standards for so-called "competitive" food and beverages - those sold outside of school meal programs, through à la carte lines, vending machines and school stores.
- Implementing the National Physical Activity Plan: TFAH and RWJF recommend full implementation of the policies, programs, and initiatives outlined in the National Physical Activity Plan. This includes a grassroots advocacy effort; a public education program; a national resource center; a policy development and research center; and dissemination of best practices.
- Restoring Cuts to Vital Programs: TFAH and RWJF recommend that the $833 million in cuts made in the fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution be restored and that programs to improve nutrition in child care settings and nutrition assistance programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children be fully funded and carried out. If fully funded these programs could have a major impact on reducing obesity.
Moreover it is even more apparent that American obesity is directly tied to income and education level. Head on over to the Trust for America's Health's website for their full report.