Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One quarter of Kansans say they are obese

August 4, 2010, 10:10 a.m. Updated August 4, 2010, 11:14 a.m.


Related document

CDC Obesity Report ( .PDF )

— Kansans are getting fatter, with more than a fourth of them now saying they are obese, according to a report released Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's an increase from the 2005 version of the report and follows a national trend: Nine states now have obesity rates of 30 percent or greater, compared to no states in 2000 and three in 2005.

The rates are underestimated, the CDC said, because they are based on what 400,000 people nationwide told researchers who asked for heights and weights during a phone call.

Both men and women tend to say they are taller than they are, and women often say they weigh less than they do, the CDC said.

The new report shows that between 25 and 29 percent of Kansans say they are obese, meaning they have a body mass index of 30 or more. Body mass index, or BMI, is a calculation of height and weight. A 5-foot-4 woman who weighs 174 pounds or more, or a 5-foot-10 man who weighs 209 or more would be considered obese, for example.

Preliminary data based on 2008 information showed that 28.1 percent of Kansans are obese.

The obesity rate is important because people who are obese have medical costs that average $1,429 more than those of normal weight, the CDC said. In 2008 dollars, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion.

Obesity also is a factor in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.

"Obesity continues to be a major public health problem," CDC director Thomas Frieden said. "We need intensive, comprehensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity. If we don't more people will get sick and die from obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death."

Jason Eberhart-Phillips, the state's health officer, said, "While this study shows that 28.1 percent of Kansans self-reported being obese, this isn't just a problem for 28.1 percent of Kansans. This is everyone's problem.

"Obesity is a complex problem and requires not only personal action, but community action as well," he said. "People in all communities should be able to make healthy choices. To reverse this epidemic, we need to change our communities into places that strongly support healthy eating and active living."

The report, "State-Specific Obesity Prevalence Among Adults — United States, 2009," says the self-reported number of obese American adults increased by 2.4 million between 2007 and 2009. It's based on new data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which has been regularly updated since 1984.

Nationally, 26.7 percent of American adults are obese, the report says. Only Colorado and the District of Columbia had obesity rates of less than 20 percent. The rates ranged from 18.6 percent in Colorado to 34.4 percent in Mississippi.

The nine states with obesity rates of 30 percent or more are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The obesity rate was highest — 31.1 percent — among those ages 50 to 59. It was lowest in those between 18 and 29 and those 70 or older. The highest prevalence was among non-Hispanic blacks overall, whose rate was 36.8 percent, and non-Hispanic black women, whose rate was 41.9 percent. The rate for Hispanics was 30.7 percent.


salad 7 years, 9 months ago

^ exactly. It's the same with driving: in a recent study 90% of drivers consider themselves "good drivers", but they say that 80% of OTHER drivers are "bad drivers". "They only see what they want to see......." -sixth sense

geekyhost 7 years, 9 months ago

Or how about we stop subsidizing cheap corn and soy and find a different way for farmers to make ends meet, like the old ever-normal granary system?

Maybe we tax certain food products?

davidsmom 7 years, 9 months ago

Time to get new running shoes and start running again!

jonas_opines 7 years, 9 months ago

Not me, I'm on the Puddleglum Prettiness Program (r)

lawrencechick 7 years, 9 months ago

But we're still gonna bitch and moan about our health care system failing us as soon as we get a chronic disease....

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago

Insurance companies will start treating fast food like they do tobacco. For the state Blue Cross, you will be required to sign a pledge stating that you have not eaten fast food in the past year, just like you do for tobacco use now.

There is mounting and strong evidence that eating fast food has health consequences approaching tobacco use. Insurance company actuaries are not unaware of these data.

whats_going_on 7 years, 9 months ago

The problem is, there is nothing that can be healthy about using tobacco.

Yes, I hate fast food companies, I think they are rotten and disgusting. However...there are okay choices at some of them, AND by "fast food" that would cover everything from McDisgusting to Chipotle to Subway. Chipotle can be pretty healthy, as can Subway. And eating McDonalds once (although I can't fathom why anyone would want to), isn't going to kill you if you regularly are active and exercise.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 9 months ago

I think you mean you have anecdotal evidence for your view, not emprical.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 9 months ago

When the amount of evidence used is insufficient to generalize to a larger population so that it doesn't warrant the conclusion being made, the evidence is anecdotal. For example, "I've taken fish oil capsules for a dozen years and had no heart problems. Therefore, fish oil will cure heart problems for everyone."

When the evidence has been observed across a representative sample of the population being considered, and the results can be replicated in other samples of the same population, it is empirical.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago

Wrong, whats_going_on. There are behavior-related benefits to nicotine use, such as appetite (already mentioned) as well as some forms of depression and involuntary movement disorders. It also causes cardiovascular disease and contributes to cancer (along with the inhalation of burnt organic matter).

About all one can say about fast food is that it provides calories, fat, and proteins that humans use to live, along with enjoyment. It also causes obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and contributes to cancer.

There are other, more healthy ways to enjoyably obtain calories, fat, and protein needed for living. Eating fast food is a choice, just like smoking.

thepianoman 7 years, 9 months ago

It's a personal choice. Eat less and healthier and get off your butt, folks. Engage in exercise. It possesses wonderful health benefits.

I suppose it all boils down to MODERATION. You don't have to eliminate certain foods from your diet. Just eat them in moderation. Instead of 3 doughnuts, 1. Instead of a huge bowl of ice-cream, have a serving, which is a 1/2 of a cup.

I am 29 and lost 70 lbs about 10 years ago. I ate like a hog and led a very sedentary lifestyle. I went on WW, and to this day, have kept the weight off. I have also maintained my healthy eating and lots of exercise. I'm very ambitious and goal-oriented.

Lifestyle changes take time. It's a gradual process. Changing your lifestyle is not an easy task. It requires a strong, consistent determination.

julz 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for your post & congrats! It took me four years to lose 50 pounds - slow and steady wins the race! For those who need some help, try Weight Watchers. It is NOT a diet. It is lifestyle change that I continue to maintain as well.

geekyhost 7 years, 9 months ago

WW did not work for me. I had to remove processed foods. When I started eating real food, I found my own body's ability to regulate itself again, and I lost weight. Even supposedly healthy options really aren't.

Bad_Brad 7 years, 9 months ago

Isn't it great to live in America where the greatest health affliction impacting our poor is obesity?

With that said, I agree, obesity is a big fat problem (pun intended). I think we need a cap and trade system (call it a "fat and trade" system) whereby those who are above a certain weight for a given height have to pay to buy "fat credits" and those who are below a certain weight for a given height can sell "fat credits".

We need more government involvement in everything.

nobody1793 7 years, 9 months ago

Just legalize meth, and give it to the fat people. As soon as they start tweaking and lose a handful of teeth, they'll get skinny quick.

calwt262 7 years, 9 months ago

All things being equal, fat people are harder to kidnap.

jehovah_bob 7 years, 9 months ago

This article is lacking a good picture of fat people.

calwt262 7 years, 9 months ago

yes, we need some stock footage from mid-torso down following fat people as they walk down the sidewalk.

emaw 7 years, 9 months ago

I am getting tired of all the fatties running (or should I say jiggling) around Kansas. If you have ever traveled to a place like California, Texas, Florida, etc. you already know the people take much better care of themselves in these places and are much more attractive. I'm not saying you have to be a size 3 to be beautiful, just that if you were a size 3 in high school and are now a size are just lazy and need to take better care of yourself.

willie_wildcat 7 years, 9 months ago

emaw - Have you been to parts of Texas and Florida lately!??!!? Houston has some of the heaviest people in the nation while Miami and Jacksonville aren't so svelte either!

jehovah_bob 7 years, 9 months ago

Contrary to popular belief, not all fat people are jolly.

kernal 7 years, 9 months ago

Sometimes I think people don't have a clue as to what they are putting in their mouth. With other's its probably self-esteem issues or depression.

One of my favorite quotes is "You are what you eat". Eating real food, without tons of butter, sour cream, heavy cream and the like, was the easiest way for me to lose weight. Other things that worked for me: leave the last bite of food on the plate; allow one treat each week (I used to get a sweet roll every Sunday to go with breakfast); don't buy prepared meals, even the diet meals, and drink lots of water. Oh, and salad dressing is for "lightly dressing" the salad, not taking it for a swim in a lake of ranch dressing.

blindrabbit 7 years, 9 months ago

Where does Kansas rank: Colorado is least, Mississippi is most obese. Judging by what I see on the street and buffets, Kansas must be pretty bad; especially when 25% admit.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.