This week a report titled "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future" issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health warned that the number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every part of the country. While once again, Colorado tops the list as the "leanest state," more than 20 percent of adults in Colorado are obese, and the report estimates that all 50 states could have obesity rates above 44 percent by 2030.
This latest report comes on the heels of two other recent reports. A Gallup Poll reported 81 percent of Americans say they consider obesity a "very" or "extremely" serious problem in our society -- now surpassing concern about the effects of cigarettes and alcohol.
And the Bipartisan Policy Center's Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative's "Lots to Lose" report anticipates a $2 trillion increase, each year, in national healthcare spending and called obesity "the most urgent public health problem in America today." America's -- and the state of Colorado's -- economic development is being stunted by skyrocketing healthcare costs resulting from obesity.
Maren Stewart is President/CEO of LiveWell Colorado, a nonprofit organization committed to preventing obesity through the advancement of policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that promote healthy eating and active living.