Obesity rates ballooning

Ohio among 13 state with increasing waistlines
Associated Press
Aug 15, 2013

Adult obesity still isn't budging, the latest government survey shows.

The national telephone survey found 13 states with very high rates of obesity last year. Overall, the proportion of U.S. adults deemed obese has been about the same for years now.

"A plateau is better than rising numbers. But it's discouraging because we're plateauing at a very high number," said Kelly Brownell, a Duke University public policy expert who specializes in obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does the survey each year, and recently released 2012 results.

At least 30 percent of adults were obese in 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. In 2011, a dozen states reached that threshold.

Louisiana and Mississippi led the list. In both, nearly 35 percent of adults were obese. Colorado was lowest, with less than 21 percent obese.

It's not surprising states in the South and Midwest top the charts year after year, experts say. Many states in those regions have higher poverty rates.

"When you have a limited income, you have to buy foods that are cheap. And foods that are cheap tend to have a lot of sugar and salt and fat," said Dr. George Bray, an obesity expert at Louisiana State University.

The CDC defines someone as obese if their weight-to-height ratio — called a "body mass index" — hits 30 or higher. A 5-foot-9 person would be considered obese at 203 pounds or more.

The CDC's annual telephone survey asks adults their height and weight. Overall, nearly 28 percent of Americans were obese, the 2012 survey found. That's roughly the same as it's been since 2008.

Another CDC survey — which weighs and measures participants — is considered more accurate. Since the middle of the last decade, that survey has found that around 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese.

The story may be different with children. A CDC study released last week showed — for the first time — slight drops in obesity for low-income preschoolers in 18 states.

Experts called that report encouraging, but note it studied children fed through a federal program which provides food vouchers and other services. The decline in obesity was largely attributed to program changes — instituted in 2009 — that eliminated juice from infant food packages, provided less saturated fat, and made it easier to buy fruits and vegetables.




You had a friend?


Truly understand, however there are ways, programs, surgery and other means to help. I watched a huge lady riding one of those carts in Meijer, rip open a 16 oz bar of cheese and devour it while riding. Her cart was full of nothing but junk!

Licorice Schtick

Food addiction is real. It ain't crack, but for some people, close.

For some reason, with this addiction, we hold the victims less accountable, perhaps because they pose less of an immediate cost to the safety of other than, say, a meth addict. The victim and family pay most of the direct immediate costs. The long-term costs are HUGE (sorry) buy are shared by society, so we get little effective action. It's a tragedy of the commons.

Compassion is in order, but building false self-esteem by telling people it's OK to be obese, is just enabling self-destruction.


"building false self-esteem"
Yes, I had a 600 pound neighbor, her husband bought a big Lincoln for her to drive, she would go out to dinner and request the entire casserole to take home, one time she ordered 22 potato cakes at Arby's for a snack. I felt sorry for her, and yes she is dead, was maybe 55 or so. It seemed like her family just accommodated her need to eat.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Agreed, Licorice!


I have a non-stop craving for food, too. I just don't cave to temptation and eat foods that will pack on the pounds. I handle my serious jellybean and junkfood addiction by never buying jelly beans and junkfood.

It's a lot of work running 3-5 miles a day; exhausting, sometimes painful, sometimes hard to fit into my schedule, but like everyone else who exercises regularly, it's a committment I make daily to myself.

I realize that it's a slippery slope. If I'm not careful, I'll put on 10 lbs, and tell myself that I can lose them if I want. Pretty soon, it's 20 lbs., and suddenly jogging isn't as fun, because I get tired and out of breath. Now it's 40, and my knees and back hurt, so I stop running entirely. Then it's 40 more, and now I CAN'T exercise, even if I wanted to. A couple of years later, and I'm one of the people who need a scooter. I'm so fixated on that not happening that I get concerned when I put on 2 lbs. and then work hard to lose those 2.

Am really trying not to judge, but have always wondered how people can let it get so out of control in the first place. When a 30-year-old is twice the size of both of their 60-year-old parents, it's clear that it's because of choices they made. I will say that I always give a word of encouragement anytime a see a larger person starting an exercise program. My Dad lost 60 lbs. after a heart attack in his 40's, and lived well into his 80's, so weight issues don't have to be permanent.


Oh! Jelly beans.... My weakness. I had to go "cold turkey". I still have dreams of Easters past..... Jelly Beans!


"I realize that it's a slippery slope. If I'm not careful"

Oh yes, I love ice cream, this spring I was careful but then it was so convenient to just not put it in a bowl, pop that lid and just a few scoops turned into half gone! Someone made a comment at a wedding I attended and I got back on it. Now fresh vegies abound as well as so good melon in our area I have shaken 11 pounds in about a month. It is a bit like smoking, I only did it about five years but one day I had enough and threw the pack out the window of my car. Have not touched one since, not that easy for most and I was lucky.


coasterfan: As you know, I hardly ever agree with you, but on this one I do. When I was younger I didn't have a weight problem. Then I had kids, and turned 50, became less active and now it's harder and harder to move. You are right that you have to keep active. The only problem is when you stop, it's really hard to get going again.


Fatty and skinny was in the bed.
Fatty rolled over and skinny was dead.
Fatty called the doctor and the doctor said,
"Feed ol skinny some cornbread."

Yo momma so fat, when she went out side in a red dress, everyone yelled "HEY, KOOL-AID!"

Yo momma so fat she saw a yellow school bus she said, "STOP THAT TWINKIE!!"


I have always been a thin guy and relatively fit but with age things change. I used to eat whatever I wanted when it came to sweets but that all changed around the age of forty. What you have to do is change your lifestyle. You simply can't do what you have always done. I had to change certain things but moderation is really the key to maintaining your weight. I also really believe that you have to monitor what and how much your kids eat. You just can't allow them to eat you out of house and home. I remember getting a foster child that was so fat that he could not walk and was almost a year old. It was his former foster mother that just let him eat until he would vomit. That quickly changed and he would have a fit when we reduced the amount on his plate. We stuck to the plan, he lost weight, and became a regular little toddler. We did not change what he ate just how much he ate. Adults and teens need to do the same thing. Medication is also a big factor when it comes to weight gain.


My wife has been a Certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner for the past 8 years. Additionally, she has run every single day for the past 33 years except for the 7 days following each of our three sons births, and even then she walked 2+ miles each of those 7 days until she could start running again. We've always tried to live a healthy lifestyle, but since my wife earned her Certification, through a combination of continued daily exercise + modified food diet + ingestion of targeted whole food supplements as recommended by my wife, our family has not taken any prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals or any kind. The only time we'll visit a doctor is for our yearly check-ups, where the doctor always says, "If all my patients were as healthy as you, I'd be out of business!" 2 years ago I finally heeded the advice of my wife, who said I wasn't digesting properly, and stopped consuming anything containing or made from animal dairy. Mind you I wasn't ingesting much, just creamer in my coffee, butter, cheese now and then plus yogurt, but I stopped cold turkey. I also stopped eating products with gluten. The result? My snoring decreased 90%, my sometimes bad breath disappeared, my morning problems with congestion disappeared, and within 6 weeks I lost over 20 lbs., to where I now weigh the same as when I graduated from high school. I saw real definition in my abs, and my daily runs are quicker. Instead of giving money to doctors, we spend it on healthier food choices + the whole food supplements. I still have my coffee vice, have a microbrew beer or drink a glass of wine (I've been making my own since '95) frequently, ingest some products containing gluten, but the only bread I'll eat is a sourdough made from organic wheat. We try as much as possible to avoid processed foods & foods with added sugar. We eat full-fat foods as our brains need fat. We cook with coconut oil. We partner with other families to buy steers that are pasture-fed only. We buy eggs locally from folks who let the hens roam free. We pitched our microwave appliance 7 years ago. We only use cast iron or stainless steel cookware. We rarely eat out. In my wife's practice, she has helped many people improve their overall health, including clients who walked away from doctors who couldn't seem to figure out the cause of their maladies yet my wife has been able to determine the underlying root cause issues.

Since WWII, the focus in the U.S. farming industry has been to greatly increase crop yields and also "fortify" food. And in the food industry, large corporations continuously research and tinker with food to increase shelf life and taste while reducing cost wherever possible by adding non-food fillers and also increase our "want" of the foods. Meals quickly and cheaply available at "fast food" establishments have little-to-no nutritional value as they're mostly comprised of GMO ingredients we can't fully digest because our bodies don't recognize most of the substances as a "food" product, but the chemical additives in these foods trigger our brains to crave more. But with diets comprised of mostly processed foods, our bodies aren't getting the nutrition we desperately need, leading to fat accumulation, higher susceptibility to disease and overall increased poor health. The food industry has us addicted to cheap, unhealthy food while the pharmaceutical industry has us roped in to taking synthetic drugs that only address symptoms, not the root cause of the issue. One perfect example is the antacid Pepcid, which is claimed to alleviate heartburn caused by too much stomach acid. The real truth for the vast majority of people is they don't have enough stomach acid, so taking Pepcid relieves the heartburn but is actually making the problem worse because Pepcid is a stomach acid histamine blocker. What happens with people is they continue to alleviate the symptoms caused by not enough stomach acid while their stomachs are not properly digesting food as they're not producing enough stomach acid.

Eating and living a healthy lifestyle sounds expensive, but when I think of how much money we're not spending on doctors and prescription drugs, or how much more productive we are by not missing work or being tired and lethargic in our work output, I believe we're ahead. At 54 years of age I feel like I'm in better health than I was at 44. My wife is 52 yet everyone thinks she looks 42...or younger. When she tells people her real age they're shocked. And our three young adult sons are all healthy, happy and fit.

We can beat obesity in this country, but it's going to require a significant mindset & lifestyle change.

Licorice Schtick

Wow! A terrific post! Everyone should read it twice.

Your doctor said, "If all my patients were as healthy as you, I'd be out of business!"

You said, "The food industry has us addicted to cheap, unhealthy food while the pharmaceutical industry has us roped in to taking synthetic drugs that only address symptoms, not the root cause of the issue."

Unhealthy people spend more on doctors and drugs. fat people buy more food. Med, pharma and food industries all profit from our bad health, and the corrupt government they're allowed to pay off regulates for their benefit, not ours. Even the food stamp program is about increasing demand for food, not nutrition for the needy. It helps people get fat and sick.

We need to be careful not to blame the victims. Sellers of food, alcohol and illegal drugs all work very hard to exploit human physiology; human behavior, response to stimuli, largely involuntary, unconscious, and compulsive. It's a matter of scientific fact. So they're using science to harm helpless people to make money. While holding people responsible for their behaviors helps them make better choices on a conscious level, it's not enough, and it certainly does not obviate the responsibility of the exploiters, where most of the responsibility lies.

The exploiters' answer to every problem is less regulation, so ther can do whatever they want. Perhaps we do indeed need less regulation, because because right now the system is so arcane that only the exploiters understand it, but more than that, we need BETTER regulation, that benefits We The People, not the exploiters. That can only happen if we get big money out of government


Stated this before - 1rst smokers, next fatties.


Good comment!


Some have eating addictions, others have genetic predisposition to obesity and others just have bad eating habits. They weren't taught to eat healthy or make better choices. Also the cost of food is often a factor. To eat better, you need more money so the poor often have to choose unhealthy cheaper options. There are alot of reasons why people are obese but the main thing is that they get the help they need to at least become more healthy.


The human body is very complex. I am very tired and very busy at the moment. Your body "craves" certain elements and vitamins. Eat well and your body will not keep asking "feed me" to eat more. It is a science.

Ever hear why some people crave certain foods? The human body wants the essentials to good health.




Stop filling up on junk foods and empty calories. Once in a while is OK. Don't make it an everyday habit.


Licorice Schtick

Good true posts. Would respond the same here as to OSUBuckeye above.