Obesity Rates in the U.S. Running Amok

By Paul Gable

Obesity rates in the U.S. are projected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years, according to a report released yesterday by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

The report projects nearly two of every three South Carolinians (62.9%) will be obese by the year 2030. We are already halfway there as 2011 obesity rates list one of three (30.8%) of South Carolinians currently obese.

And it’s not just South Carolina. The whole nation is out of control weight wise.

Colorado currently is ranked 51st in obesity rates at 20.7%. That’s still one in every five people. By 2030, Washington, D.C. is projected to be the leanest (if you can call it that) with only one in three (32.6%) of its citizens obese while Colorado goes up one notch to 50th with 44.8% of its citizens obese.

Think of it, projections say by 2030, one in every two Americans will be obese. Not overweight, not fat, OBESE!

For the record, Mississippi ranks first now in obesity and is projected to stay there by 2030. But, this isn’t one of those ‘thank God for Mississippi’ moments South Carolinians can take comfort in.

If two of three people in South Carolina (even one in three) had the flu, we would be talking about a raging epidemic. The same applies here. This is already a raging epidemic of obesity.

The report goes into causes, effects and a number of recommendations on how to combat the problem, all of which seem to rely on sustaining or increasing government programs.

This is not a problem caused by the government or one in which the government can provide the solution, even if New York City did recently ban the sale of sugar based drinks larger than 16 oz. recently. That should really help.

This is an individual problem which will require an individual solution. To a very large extent (no pun intended) this is a question of individual choice. The Libertarians should certainly lead the way on this one.

It is also a national crisis. If we truly are worried about China eclipsing the U.S. as the world’s pre-eminent power in this century, this is a crisis that must be overcome starting right now. Otherwise, the Chinese will have to do nothing but wait until we eat ourselves to death!

Read the report: http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2012/


One Comment

  1. Actually, the government can take steps. Many of the obese are the poor that receive welfare and SNAP benefits. Years ago, they used to get food stamps that only allowed them to buy certain foods, which were somewhat healthy and necessary. But the gov’t decided it wasn’t “fair” to limit them to what they can buy so now in many places they can use their freaking SNAP card at places like McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

    Go back to a system of giving food stamps and only allow them for basics like fruit, veggies, grain breads, skim milk and chicken.

    Just look at the stats, it is very easy to correlate higher obesity rates with the most poor states, then drill down and the higher obesity rates in those states correlate with those that get government handouts.

    We also have removed a lot of recess and “play time” in schools. Everyone is so afraid that their little baby might get hurt and the schools are afraid of lawsuits.

    We have also allowed companies as Coke, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, etc… to infiltrate our school systems, both in advertising and in setting up shop and selling food. Eliminate this 100% and only offer healthy foods at school.

    All of this WILL make obesity rates go down.

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