Andy Miller published an article with Georgia Health News (GHN) yesterday that revealed that Georgia’s obesity rate, considered as a BMI of 30 or above, was 30.5% in 2014. This ranks us at 19th in the nation.
The obesity rate has grown from 10.1% in 1990, 20.6% in 2000, and 30.3% in 2013. African-Americans are at a 37.5% obesity rate in Georgia, while whites are at 27.5%. The numbers were released in a report earlier in the week by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, stated to GHN:
“While we recognize there is significant work to be done in Georgia to reduce the adult obesity rate, the fact the state remained statistically flat from year to year is a positive. We are seeing significant improvements in our youngest Georgians.’’
Dr. Fitzgerald gives credit for to the Georgia SHAPE program and its Power Up for 30 initiative for helping to prevent childhood obesity. This program “encourages schools to give children an additional 30 minutes of physical activity daily.”
Rodney Lyn, an obesity expert and an associate dean in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, stated that more programs and funding have been added over the last decade to help prevent obesity. The steps taken include serving healthier food in schools and the development of more parks and greenspace. He has also seen a reduction in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Lyn added that “there are signs of progress among children” but concluding that “we have a long way to go.”
He said that poverty is a major risk factor for obesity. He believes that poverty can lead to people skipping meals or eating less due to a lack of food and then binge eating when food is available. This can often lead to weight gain. He further cites that fast food restaurants are often the choice in communities where there is a deficiency in access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lyn further stated that a heavy burden of chronic diseases stems from obesity and that “we haven’t really seen the full toll of this epidemic.” The report reflects the chronic disease issue by showing that Georgia ranks 10th in the nation with an adult diabetes rate of 11.6% and 12th in nation with a hypertension rate of 35 percent.
I was obese. I let a lot of things get in my way of a more healthy lifestyle, including politics. I have learned that health is extremely important to every facet of life.
I had a BMI of 31.5 on February 15, 2015, which placed me in the obese category. My cholesterol was high, my blood sugar was off, etc., etc. Six months later, by implementing a diet and exercise plan, I was able to reduce it down to 24.0, which puts me in the “normal” range.
You can calculate your BMI HERE You may be surprised.