Thursday, July 2, 2009

Missouri and Kansas keep eating

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM

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The non-profit health policy organization Trust For America's Health released its annual F as in Fat survey yesterday. The results are not especially encouraging for Kansas or Missouri. While neither are among the 10 fattest states, they are perilously close.

Missouri ranks as the 13th fattest, with just over 28 percent of adults qualifying as obese. Kansas increased its adult obesity rate this year to 27.2 percent, tying Alaska for 18th place. Mississippi is the number 1 state, at 32.5 percent.

The real problem in Kansas and Missouri is child obesity. In each state, 31 percent of young people are either overweight or obese. That's four percent higher than it was only two years ago!

While nearly half the states have passed stricter-than-UDSA requirements on nutritional standards for school lunches, breakfasts, snacks and vending machine items, neither Kansas nor Missouri have such laws. Also, Kansas doesn't have any legislation concerning "weight-related assessments" in school, although Missouri does.

To help combat child obesity, the report recommends providing healthy foods for students at schools while increasing physical activity and limiting the time they spend in front of screens. It also mentions food deserts as a problem, saying one of the top goals of states should be to "increase the availability of affordable healthy foods in all communities."

Trust for America's Health also breaks down infectious diseases, curable diseases, health funding and medical insurance coverage on a state by state level, all of which is here.

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