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New Report Finds Obesity Epidemic Increases, Mississippi Weighs in as Heaviest State
Date:7/1/2009

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  • Twenty states have passed requirements for body mass index (BMI) screenings of children and adolescents or have passed legislation requiring other forms of weight-related assessments in schools. Five years ago, only four states had passed screening requirements.
  • A recent analysis commissioned by TFAH found that the Baby Boomer generation has a higher rate of obesity compared with previous generations. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, obesity-related costs to Medicare and Medicaid are likely to grow significantly because of the large number of people in this population and its high rate of obesity. And, as Baby Boomers become Medicare-eligible, the percentage of obese adults age 65 and older could increase significantly. Estimates of the increase in percentage of obese adults range from 5.2 percent in New York to 16.3 percent in Alabama.

  • Key report recommendations for addressing obesity within health reform include:

    • Ensuring every adult and child has access to coverage for preventive medical services, including nutrition and obesity counseling and screening for obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes;
    • Increasing the number of programs available in communities, schools, and childcare settings that help make nutritious foods more affordable and accessible and provide safe and healthy places for people to engage in physical activity; and
    • Reducing Medicare expenditures by promoting proven programs that improve nutrition and increase physical activity among adults ages 55 to 64.

    The report also calls for a National Strategy to Combat Obesity that would define roles and responsibilities for federal, state and local governments and promote collaboration among businesses, communities, schools and families. It would seek to advance policies tha
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    SOURCE Trust for America's Health
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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