The Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released their annual “F as in Fat” report this month. Guess what—America is overweight and obese. I know this isn’t a shock to anyone, but as this map points out we have ONE state with an obesity rate below 20%. More importantly, eight states, plus D.C. have childhood obesity rates greater than 20%: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. And their parents (84%) believe their children are at a healthy weight.
I don’t know what is more disheartening—that kids are overweight or that their parents don’t think anything is wrong.
But it does seem that at least some people are starting to wake up. In the last two years programs and policies preventing obesity have increased exponentially in number, strength and breadth.
Twenty states and D.C. set nutritional standards for school lunches, breakfasts and snacks that are stricter than current U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements. And they are trying to bring back health education and physical education.
So even though HHS failed at reaching their goal of reducing the obesity rate to 15 percent in all the states by 2010….there may be some glimmer of hope.