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It is a well-known fact that obesity is a major health problem for the United States. A recent study has collected data that indicates which states have the highest percentages of obesity. The state of Mississippi is in the lead with 34.9%, while the lowest percentage, 20.7%, is held by the state of Colorado. This study clearly identifies the Midwest and South as having the highest obesity percentages in the country.
Obesity has already taken a huge toll on our healthcare system. Current figures report that medical expenditures are totaling around $270 billion to treat obesity-related medical conditions. Studies show that, at the current rate, more than half of the population in the United States will be obese by 2030, and healthcare expenses are expected to double, if not triple.
Obesity can bring about a variety of health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, sleep apnea, and more. Conditions such as those are often a major concern on their own, but, for an obese patient, they can become very complicated very fast.
Many companies around the country are being affected by those with obesity-related health issues, as many employees need time off for medical attention. In an effort to help promote wellness and exercise, many insurance companies are offering incentivized programs. Many include keeping a log of healthy habits and receiving a monetary bonus in return, which has worked for many people. It was found that many of the obese people surveyed for the study all said they would work with a health-focused diet and exercise plan if they received a discount from their insurance, so maybe this could be part of the solution to helping those who are overweight or obese.
Hopefully, we will soon see a decrease in the current staggering numbers. Even though obesity is a global health problem, it seems to be more of an epidemic in the United States. The cause of this is unclear - weather it’s due to the accessibility of fast food, or current lifestyle trends, or whatever else. This study will hopefully bring about more awareness on the subject, helping to create some solutions. It is a start, but a long way from the end goal.Sources: Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/sns-ap-il--obesity-rankings-20120813,0,5829323.story Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/obesity-rate-by-state_n_1774356.html#slide=1373358 Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/study-reveals-26-of-the-30-states-with-highest-obesity-rates-located-in-midwest-and-south/2012/08/14/b672595a-e5e6-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-13/obesity-rates-states/57031440/1?csp=34news Insurance Journal: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2011/01/11/180022.html