America’s waist line has once again expanded, and Michigan continues to pack on the pounds at an alarming rate, according to a recently released study.
Three in ten Michigan adults now — 30.5% — are considered obese, compared to 17.2% in 1995, according to the report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011.
That makes Michigan the 10th fattest state in the nation, according to the report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, both of which focus on American’s health issues.
The other nine most obese states in the country are southern states. Obesity rates increased in 16 states in the past year and did not decline in any state, according to the report.
“Americans in general are tipping the scale to the side of obese and overweight,” said Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, Chief of Health Operations at Wayne County Health and Human Services.
It’s the sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices among other things, he said. But in Michigan, residents rely too much on vehicles, too. Plus, poor weather “contributes to our immobility,” he said.
The department this spring launched a $350,000, three-year Healthy New Me campaign asking residents to pledge to do more physical activity.
It’s not that Michiganders don’t recognize the problem, it’s that they often don’t know how to begin the battle, they need encouragement, or they worry it will be costly, said Edith Killins, HHS director.
The Healthy New Me campaign already has helped organize more than 40 walking clubs throughout the county, she said.
“Some people need a buddy to encourage them,” Killins said.
Additionally, doctors, public health leaders and others next week will lead a conference at Ford Field to discuss topics ranging from community-wide programs to battle obesity, family support, and public policy and advocacy.
Registration for day-long conference July 13 is required through www.vceonline.org or by calling 734-785-7705, ext. 7560. For information, go to www.healthynewme.org.
Source: Wayne County Department of Health and Human Services