Over 30 percent of adults in Ohio are obese
Thursday, September 05, 2013 4:40 AM
PUTNAM COUNTY - On August 25, a Japanese pizza place introduced the Megaburgerpizza. The gut-busting creation is made of thick beef patties sandwiched between two 11-inch pizzas and garnished with ketchup, onions, pickles and mustard.
If the price tag of $26 doesn't scare Americans away from this caloric disaster, perhaps last month's results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention annual survey which monitors American obesity will. In 2012, at least 30 percent of adults were obese in 13 states. Ohio was one of them, with 30.1 percent of Ohioans considered obese. All were in the South and Midwest. Colorado was lowest, with less than 21 percent obese.
Also in August, Grub Hub, a U.S. web and mobile company that lets users find delivery and takeout restaurants near them and order online for free, released its list of the Top 10 Most Extreme Food Cities. The top three are Detroit, Mich., Lansing, Mich. and Columbus. Denver, Colo. is number four. Ohioans obviously love to eat, but so do people in Colorado's capital city.
Why are people in Colorado so much more fit and healthy than consumers in the Midwest? Joan Kline, Putnam County Health Department health educator, says it's all about personal choice.
For several years Putnam County has been tracking health and physical activity versus inactivity in some of the youngest members of our communities.
"A third grade BMI study was done through the Ohio Department of Health," said Kline. "Putnam County participated in gathering height and weight."
BMI stands for body mass index, and is a measure for human body shape based on an individual's mass and height. It is most commonly used as a simple method to assess how much an individual's body weight departs from what is normal or desirable for a person of his or her height. There is some debate as to which value of the BMI scale should be set as overweight or obese.
When the BMI study referred to by Kline was done in 2004, 37 percent of this county's third grade students had a BMI which indicated they were overweight or obese. Data collected in 2010 showed improvement to 33.9 percent.
"When we did this in 2004, our third graders were slightly higher than the rest of the state," added Kline. "Then in 2010 Putnam County third graders had a lower BMI than others in Ohio. More than a third of Ohio's third graders remain overweight."
Where adults are concerned , it is a little more difficult to determine and exact percentage of obesity. The 2012 health assessment was based on self-reported heights and weights. Perhaps a better way to determine problem of weight overage in this country is through associated health costs. The CDC reports the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
According to the CDC, the higher the level of education those third graders and their parents pursue, the less likely they will be to become obese. A study conducted from 2005 to 2008 reveals that among American men, 27.4% of those with a college degree are obese compared with 32.1% of those with less than a high school education. Among women, 23.4% of those with a college degree are obese, significantly less than the 42.1% of women with less than a high school education.
In Putnam County, the percentage of obese adults is 31.5 percent according to the 2010 survey. In a region that is touted as largely agricultural, complete with images of farmers walking their fields, this may be an unwelcome surprise. Kline expressed her thoughts on why the adult residents of this county are seriously overweight.
"We do have opportunities. For instance, the villages are putting in good sidewalks. We have the Y and other exercise facilities. But we're also in and electronic age. People may not always choose to be active."
The Putnam County health department is working at a number of different levels to help people of all ages to eat less and move more to combat obesity or to prevent its onset.
"We have a 'Live healthy, Live Happy' Putnam County action team that is trying to address the issue," says Kline. "In January, we worked with Putnam County employees on a computer challenge. We hope to roll out something through our churches that helps people become more active."
story created on Monday 9/2/2013 at 4:33:46 pm by Anne Coburn-Griffis
story modified on Tuesday 9/3/2013 at 7:26:28 pm by Nancy Kline