Thursday, July 29, 2010

Obesity Rates Balloon in 39 U.S. States

HOCKESSIN, Del.—America is losing the battle of the bulge against obesity, according to new statistics from the seventh annual “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future-2010 report”. The report reveals unsettling statistics that adult obesity rates have increased in 28 states over the past year, and 38 states have 25 percent of their adult populations that are classified as obese.

The report, released by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), contains rankings of state obesity breaking down each state's rankings in both adult and childhood obesity. This year's report also highlights the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption for weight management, optimal child growth, and chronic disease prevention. It goes on to make the correlation that the eight states with the lowest rates of fruit and vegetable consumption are also on the top 10 list of states with the highest obesity rates.

According to the findings, 15 states experienced an increase in the rate of adult obesity for the second consecutive year, and 11 states experienced an increase for the third straight year when compared with past reports. For the sixth year in a row Mississippi has the highest rate of obese adults weighing in at 33.8 percent this time. Colorado boasts the lowest adult obesity rate, only 19.1 percent and was the only state with an obesity rate below 20 percent this year. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.

According to Elizabeth Pivonka, a registered dietician and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), most adults don't get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables each day.

"Fruits and vegetables play important roles in the process of weight loss and weight maintenance," she said. "Not only because they are low in calories but also because they provide a wide range of valuable nutrients like vitamins and potassium. They are also high in fiber and water, so eating them will keep you feeling full longer."

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with healthy fiber, and fiber-rich diets have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects, including a decreased risk of coronary heart disease.

"Fruits and vegetables provide the unrivaled combination of great taste, nutrition, abundant variety and multiple product forms. There is no need to eat the same thing day after day when there are so many delicious fruits and veggies from which to choose. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy when you remember that all product forms count—fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100-percent fruit and vegetable juice."

Produce for Better Health Foundation: Fruits & Vegetables Important to Combating Obesity

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