Iowa's obesity prevalence rises to 28.4 percent
A report out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Iowa's obesity prevalence is 28.4 percent, up of 27.9 percent in 2009. No state reported an obesity prevalence lower than 20 percent in 2010. The number of states with an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more has increased to 12 in 2010, compared to no states with that level in 2000.
The data come from the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based phone survey that collects health information from approximately 400,000 adults aged 18 and over. The 2010 BRFSS data confirm that no state met the nation's Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15 percent within the past decade. An adult is considered obese if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. For example, a 5-foot-4 woman who weighs 174 pounds or more, or a 5-foot-10 man who weighs 209 pounds or more, both have a BMI of 30 or more and are considered obese.
"Obesity is a complex issue, and it will take every element of society working together to reverse the epidemic," said Dennis Haney, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) community health consultant for Iowans Fit for Life."All Iowans need to make healthy choices both in terms of what they eat and how active they are. Communities that strongly support healthy eating and active living play a large role in reducing obesity."
IDPH's Iowans Fit for Life State Plan includes suggestions to make communities more walkable; tools to improve the healthfulness of restaurant menus, grocery store offerings, and vending machine options; a worksite wellness resource designed for small employers; and a school and community nutrition and physical activity intervention. Iowans Fit for Life has also partnered with the health promotion unit at IDPH to provide subject matter expert support for community wellness grants across the state which are used locally to make the healthy choice, the easy choice.
For more information about Iowa's obesity prevention efforts, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/iowansfitforlife/default.asp. For more information on obesity prevalence, including an animated map, visit www.cdc.gov/obesity.