Minnesota obesity rate expected to climb

11:23 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Minnesota's obesity rate is expected to climb significantly over the next 20 years, but to be fair, so is every other state in our nation.

"If current trends continue, obesity will contribute to more than 6 million cases of Type 2 Diabetes, five million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke and more than 400-thousand cases of cancer in the next two decades," says Jeff Levi, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health.

The organization, along with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted the study that looked at obesity rates in every state.

Minnesota fell somewhere in the middle...but the numbers are staggering.

"Right now 25.7 percent of adults in Minnesota are obese and our new study found that if we continue on our current track that number could rise to 54.7% by the year 2030," says Levi.

Don't believe it? Health officials in the state say it's true."I definitely think those numbers are accurate, but even for myself who spends my working life studying obesity, it's still really surprising to see those big numbers and what could happen if we don't really work on it right now," says Nancy Sherwood, PhD. with Health Partners Institute for Education and Research.

Dr. Sherwood says there is no doubt obesity is a problem, but there are people working on it right now."

A lot of efforts around the state focusing on improving access to healthy foods and access to physical activity opportunities," says Sherwood.

New school lunches with healthier foods and portions is one effort.

Dr. Sherwood's research with the University of Minnesota focusing on early childhood programs is another. That's for the kids, but what about the adults? It's nothing you haven't heard before."I wish there were a simple easy solution, but there's really not. it does involve eating more healthy foods and exercising more. That's what it comes down to," she says.

Eating healthier, exercising more and getting less screen time are the three things she says will help lead to healthier Minnesotans, and healthier people all around.

Easier said than done in this day and age.

By the way, Mississippi was the state with the highest percentage of obese adults, Colorado was the lowest.

You can check out the entire study at Trust for America's Health.


(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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