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States Starving for Obesity Funding as Citizens Get Fatter, NACDD Says

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 General News J E 4
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ATLANTA, Aug. 28 The National Association ofChronic Disease Directors (NACDD) supports a new report by Trust for America'sHealth that found that adult and childhood obesity is growing at recordproportions, especially in the South. The association called on thecollective efforts of schools, communities, businesses and government toprovide a long-term solution to today's obesity epidemic.

"As this report points out, we now have a growing evidence base to take onthis important public health problem," said Dr. Marcus Plescia, NACDD boardmember and North Carolina representative member, who was involved in thereport's review. "The problem is that while many states across the nationhave excellent obesity plans, they are starving for resources as our citizensget fatter."

"Addressing the obesity epidemic and the many related chronic diseasesrequires the collective effort of communities, schools, business and alllevels of government," said David Hoffman, director, Bureau of Chronic DiseaseServices, New York State Department of Health and New York representativemember, who also reviewed the report prior to its release. "Reports like 'F asin Fat' go a long way to inform the dialogue we all need to engage in if weexpect to impact this growing threat."

"Obesity is a complex disease and it will only get better when communitieshave multi-faceted interventions in place to help people make better choicesrelated to exercise and diet," said John Robitscher, NACDD executive director."The time to act is now, before too long the compounding costs of thisepidemic will overwhelm an already fragile and fragmented healthcare system."

In the report released yesterday, Mississippi topped the list with thehighest rate of adult obesity in the country for the third year in a row, andis the first state to reach a rate of over 30 percent (at 30.6 percent).Colorado was the leanest state again this year, however, its adult obesityrate increased over the past year (from 16.9 to 17.6 percent). Ten of the 15states with the highest rates of adult obesity are located in the South.Rates of adult obesity now exceed 25 percent in 19 states, an increase from 14states last year and 9 in 2005. In 1991, none of the states exceeded 20percent.

The report also finds that rates of overweight children (ages 10 to 17)ranged from a high of 22.8 percent in Washington, D.C., to a low of 8.5percent in Utah. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of overweightchildren were in the South.

"Today's environment does not always promote healthy food and physicalactivity choices," said Paula Marmet, NACDD president. "Children arebombarded with marketing messages about snack food and high calorie beveragesat school, at home and via internet-based promotions, while recess and dailyphysical education classes are being eliminated from schools and physicalactivity, in general, is reduced in daily routines. Our nation's children arefacing a burden of chronic diseases, which will impact the quality of theirlives, and ultimately, may cripple the U.S. health care system."

NACDD supports states in their obesity prevention efforts. State successstories can be found at NACDD's web site at www.chronicdisease.org.Additionally, several of the association's councils and interest groups areworking to build workforce and funding of state health departments to addressrisk factors of obesity, including poor diet and lack of physical activity, aswell as obesity's related chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovasculardisease.

About NACDD

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors is a national publichealth association founded in 1988 to link the chronic disease programdirectors of each state and U.S. territory to provide a national forum forchronic disease prevention and control efforts. NACDD provides state-basedleadership and expertise for ch
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