The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its new report that details how the country is trying to reverse the epidemic of obesity.
Obesity numbers are on the rise around the country.
“Obesity is a really complex condition,” said Dr. Sadie Peters, medical director with the Maryland Department of Health.
The CDC recently released a report, “The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” to show what is and is not working for Americans. The report reads, “obesity rates are alarmingly high; sustained, meaningful reductions have not yet been achieved.”
West Virginia ranked number one with the highest adult obesity, with around 38 percent. Next, Pennsylvania ranked number 24. Maryland was right behind at number 26, and Virginia was ranked number 29.
Dr. Peters said that even though the Old Line state is not in the top 20 of states, the numbers are not getting better.
“It is important for us to address these issues now,” Dr. Peters said. “It is encouraging to see that the numbers for youth who are overweight or obese is actually declining a little bit in Maryland. For the adult population though, we have a really long road ahead of us.”
Pennsylvania and Maryland’s adult obesity rates are around 31 percent, with Virginia’s at 30 percent. These numbers have all increased by 10 percent since 2000, the report showed.
Dr. Emma Eggleston, chief of diabetes and obesity prevention at West Virginia University, said that even though West Virginia is ranked number one, she is optimistic.
“It takes a long time to bend the curve, and so we may be number one for several more years,” Dr. Eggleston said. “It is very hard to predict, but I would say the overall trajectory is in a very hopeful direction.”
West Virginia has the seventh highest obesity rate for youth, ages 10 to 17. Dr. Eggleston said the younger generation has showed the most improvement. She attributes it to conservation and collaborations.
“That dialogue is happening in the healthcare system,” she said. “The dialogue is happening very much in public health. They are often the lead with these things, and the dialogue is happening in schools and in churches and community groups.”
Adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in seven states, 30 percent in 29 states and 25 percent in 24 states.