Official data shows that the number of US states with high obesity levels nearly doubled in the span of two years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday that 35 percent of residents in 16 states were classified as obese last year, compared to 12 in 2019 and nine in 2018.
The picture was much worse for people of color, with 22 states meeting that threshold for Hispanic residents and 35 states as well as the District of Columbia meeting that for black residents. For white people the number was seven.
Officials warned that this trend puts Americans at risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19, which is more dangerous for those with a higher body mass index (BMI).
BMI is a blunt measure of body fat that compares a person’s weight to their height, with a score above 30 being counted as obese. It is less accurate for individuals than for larger groups of people, and its relationship to actual health varies between ethnic groups.
CDC said: “Changing the current course of obesity will require a sustained, comprehensive effort from all segments of society. If we are to ensure health equity, we must acknowledge existing health inequalities and health inequalities and address social determinants of health such as poverty and The lack of health care access has to be addressed.
a report The non-profit group Trust for America’s Health said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem by forcing many people to reduce their physical activity.
Although CDC’s figures for 2020 were broadly in line with long-term trends, the Trust cited other studies suggesting massive weight gain during the pandemic.
On top of the enforced slowness of the lockdown, it attributed the stress and trauma from job losses, poverty, social isolation and other conflicts dragging down Americans’ health.
“The pandemic has put many people and communities at greater risk of changing eating habits because of the social and economic disruptions that have caused them,” said Jay Nadine Gracia, the trust’s chief executive.
Fatima Cody Stanford, a doctor and obesity researcher at Harvard Medical School, said USA Today That stress is “the first reason we look for changes in weight”, adding that it can lead to overeating and a craving for new food.
Before 2013, there were no states in the US with an obesity rate greater than 35 percent. Since then, however, it has been rising steadily, reaching five in 2016 and seven in 2017.
In 2019, the states meeting that threshold were Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee. In 2020 they were joined by Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /