Thursday, July 2, 2009 | 11 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
Planning to binge on barbecue and beer for the Fourth of July? Check the scale before you scarf down those hot dogs. Nevadans have packed on some pounds in the past year, according to a new report on obesity.
With a quarter of Nevadans excessively overweight, the state was ranked the 32nd most-obese state in America in rankings released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In last year's ranking the state had the 35th-highest rate of obesity, with 23.6 percent of adults tipping the scales as excessively overweight.
The report, released this week, also found that Nevada has the 11th-highest rate of overweight youth. Thirty-four percent of Nevada children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese.
Widening waistbands isn’t just a problem for Nevadans. Two-thirds of American adults are either obese or overweight and, according to the study, the percentage of obese adults rose in 23 states this year. No states saw a decrease in obesity rates.
Health advocates say the increasing rate of obesity has broad implications on health care costs and the economy. They are particularly concerned about childhood obesity, which has more than tripled since the 1980s.
“Reversing the childhood obesity epidemic is a critical ingredient for delivering a healthier population and making health reform work,” Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a statement. “If we can prevent the current generation of young people from developing the serious and costly chronic conditions related to obesity, we cannot only improve health and quality of life, but we can also save billions of dollars and make our health care systems more efficient and sustainable.”