Task force tackles obesity

By | March 29, 2012 12:00 am

Governor Bill Haslam has named obesity as the focus of his Health and Wellness Task Force as nearly one third of Tennesseans are now considered obese.
Last year, Tennessee was named the fourth most obese state, with 31.9 percent of adults considered obese. While this is a rise from 2nd in the nation for obesity in the previous year, in 2010 the percentage of obese adults was actually lower, at 31.6 percent.
The rate of obese Tennesseans has nearly doubled since 1995, when only 16.4 percent of adults in Tennessee were considered obese.
The total number of overweight and obese adults is 68.3 percent.
Tennessee is also 6th in the nation for childhood obesity, with 20.6 percent of children considered obese.
Because of the high rate of obesity, Tennessee also has high rates of health concerns that are associated with obesity, such as diabetes and hypertension. Tennessee rates fifth in the nation for both, with 10.6 percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes and 32.2 percent diagnosed with hypertension. Tennessee is also the third fastest growing state for diabetes.
While there are few numbers for White County, the Center for Disease Control found that 30.8 percents of adults in White County are obese.
The CDC also found that while Tennessee was 5th in the nation for physical inactivity, at 29.9% of adults being inactive, White County was the single most inactive county in the state with 38.9 percent of adults considered inactive.
Gov. Haslam has formed a committee and is working to partner with organizations, such as the YMCA, Coordinated School Health Program and local health departments to develop an initiative to improve the state’s health status.
All statistics were compiled from the 2011 report by the Trust for America’s Health unless otherwise stated.

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