Each year, the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a non-partisan public health advocacy group, releases a health report regarding obesity in America.
The agency offered insight into why many Americans have an increased risk of developing certain serious medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are two key factors why individuals may pay higher healthcare costs and life insurance premiums.
Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent, according to the report.
“While stable rates of adult obesity may signal prevention efforts are starting to yield some results, the rates remain extremely high,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. “Even if the nation holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers—who are aging into obesity-related illnesses—and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis for the healthcare system and Medicare.”
Levi added, “In order to decrease obesity and related costs, we must ensure that policies at every level support healthy choices, and we must focus investments on prevention.”
In addition to TFAH’s data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report stating that 18 states and one U.S. territory experienced a decline in obesity rates among preschool children from low-income families.
About one in eight preschoolers are obese in the U.S., according to the report.
“After decades of unrelenting bad news, we’re finally seeing signs of progress. In addition to today’s news about the steady rates for adults, we’ve seen childhood obesity rates declining in cities and states that were among the first to adopt a comprehensive approach to obesity prevention,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO.
Lavizzo-Mourey also points out that while progress has been made, there is still a lot of work that needs to done to help curb obesity in America.
Keep in mind that life insurance premiums are currently at an industry all-time low, which makes purchasing a policy even more affordable. Losing weight and lowing one’s risk of obesity is an effective way to qualify for a lower insurance premium.