Mississippi Vows to Slim Down After Fifth Year as Nationâ€™s Most Obese State
Every year the Trust for America’s Health in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation release their report on obesity in America. F as in Fat 2009 is a comprehensive study of obesity patterns across the country and, once again, Mississippi has weighed in as the nationâ€™s heaviest state.
Obesity is on the rise all over the country, with increased numbers of obese adults in 23 states and no declining numbers in any states. However this is Mississippiâ€™s fifth year topping the charts. According to the study 32.5% of Mississippi adults and 44.4% of kids 10-17 are obese.
Now two Mississippi mayors and an endocrinologist are vowing to take action to trim down over the coming year. They have drafted a plan to encourage Mississippi residents to lose weight:
- 1. Put in more sidewalks inviting people to walk instead of drive
- 2. Improve parks with more sports fields, trails for running and walking, and other outdoor activities
- 3. Reframe obesity as a chronic medical condition rather than a lifestyle choice so that treatment will be covered by insurance plans
- 4. Discourage fried food, which is a staple of the Mississippi diet
- 5. Launch a healthy eating campaign similar to the stop smoking campaign to educate consumers about nutrition
- 6. Make healthy food available at affordable prices, particularly in low income neighborhoods, through new supermarkets and farmerâ€™s markets
- 7. Set a good example for friends and relatives by dropping the weight yourself
The hope is that a combination of more opportunities for exercise, increased availability of healthy food, and nutrition education will help people who struggle with their weight.
By comparison, Colorado has the lowest rate of obesity at only 18%. It is currently the only state with an obesity rate of under 20%.