The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

July 30, 2013

Editorial: Local initiatives help fight obesity

There’s a deep threat to America’s future, and it seems to be about waist high.

The number of obese adults is increasing in every state, to the point that relayed disease and health costs are expected to dramatically rise over the next 20 years, according to the Healthy Americans. Adults are considered obese if their body mass index, which is one’s body fat based on height and weight, is 30 or higher.

If obesity rates continue on current trends, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent and all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent. Indiana’s obesity rate, which was 25 percent in 2011 — making it 13th in the nation — is predicted to leap to 56 percent by 2030 which, surprisingly, will bump it down to 25th. But that still means that 56 percent of the state’s population will be considered obese, and that means more Hoosiers with coronary heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and other diseases.

There’s hope by working to reduce the body mass index.

Thankfully, there are local initiatives willing to assist us. Among them, Community Hospital Anderson is gearing up for its eight-week weight management class. The program teaches healthy lifestyles for those of us with less-than-healthy eating habits. Usually offered four times year, the next class begins Aug. 6.

A number of groups around Indiana were also part of the Indiana Healthy Weight Initiative that offers tips on its website (inhealthyweight.org) on everything from promoting physical activity to early childhood care. To keep in shape, consider a pedometer challenge with friends or ride a bicycle with your family.

In June, St. Vincent Regional Anderson presented its first phase of its Spirit of Wellness program. After 16 weeks in the program, 15 participants achieved a 5 percent weight loss with four participants achieving a 10 percent weight loss.

That’s great results. And it’s these type of programs that can prove helpful to all Madison County residents in avoiding the obesity threat.

In summary In light of the obesity epidemic in Indiana, weight-loss classes like the one at Community Hospital Anderson and other helpful programs could make a major positive difference in Madison County.

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