Friday, July 11, 2008

63 Percent of Iowans overweight or obese

About 1.4 million or 63 percent of Iowans are overweight or obese, reports the Iowa Department of Public Health.

In the last 10 years, overweight and obesity among Iowa adults has increased by 36 percent, and more than 18 percent of elementary school children in the state are already overweight, public health officials say.

Total annual health care costs in Iowa attributable to adult obesity are estimated at $783 million, nearly one half of which is paid by Medicare or Medicaid.

“Obesity and overweight are killing Iowans and will continue to threaten the quality of our lives if we do not pull together and fight this epidemic head on,” said Tom Newton, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). “The fact that the Partnership obtained such a competitive grant is an indication of their strong commitment to making Iowa the healthiest state in the U.S.”

Whether one is overweight or obese depends on Body Mass Index. The Centers For Disease Control has a Web site with data on weight that can assist people in determining where they fall on the scale.

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