February 9, 2007

States get bad report cards

The University of Baltimore Obesity Initiative gave out report cards this week to the 50 states and graded each on how it is responding to the obesity health crisis. The news wasn't good. Just six states received A's. Nine states received D's and F's. These states are failing Americans and its children.

Idaho, Wyoming and Utah received Fs for taking no action -- that's zippo -- to combat obesity. Tennessee received an A, but that state is in dare need of some help. It has the 8th highest rate of obesity. Mississippi has the nation's highest rate of obesity. It received a C.

The Initiative looked at eight different types of legislation, some of which dealt with childhood obesity. Some of the things they looked at were:
  • controlling the types of food and drinks in schools
  • controlling the types of food in school's vending machines
  • mandatory physical education
  • establishing obesity education
The good news is that grass roots efforts are being taken by school boards and local governments to make eating away from home a healthier experience. But the work is far, far from done.

CNN reports we now spend (and it's us, as in taxpayers and higher insurance premiums) more than $130 billion on direct costs related to obesity. Indirect costs triple that to $390 billion.

No comments: