New study identifies 12 states with obesity rates over 30 percent
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A new study by the not-for-profit Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that more than 30% of adults are obese in 12 U.S. states. The study analyzed obesity rates from data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The top 12 states for obesity rates include Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, and Missouri. Colorado had the lowest rate at 20.7%.
According to a study on obesity and healthcare spending published in the journal Health Affairs, obesity-related medical costs account for nearly 10% of total medical spending, an estimated $147 billion a year. The treatment of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, account for the majority of the spending.
Companies with employer-sponsored health plans are realizing that effective education and communication on the impacts of obesity have a direct impact on their overall trend and the productivity of their workforce. A report released by the U.S. Institute of Medicine outlines strategies for reversing the obesity epidemic, which if left unchecked, will have a growing and dramatic impact on healthcare costs.
In concert with the recommendations made by the U.S. Institute of Medicine, company cultures should reinforce the following themes:
- Making physical activity an integral and routine part of life.
- Ensuring that healthy food and beverage options are the routine, easy choice.
- Expanding the role of health care providers, insurers and brokers in obesity prevention.
DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, and based on particular situations, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice, financial advice and/or the advice of a licensed insurance or certified human resource professional.
© Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols 2012