More expected to be obese by 2030 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

More expected to be obese by 2030

Right now about 30 percent of Missouri's population is obese. By these new projections 62 percent is expected to be obese, not just overweight, but obese by 2030. Right now about 30 percent of Missouri's population is obese. By these new projections 62 percent is expected to be obese, not just overweight, but obese by 2030.

It's a startling projection, in just 20 years, all 50 states are expected to have an obesity rate of almost 45 percent, according to the Trust For America's Health.

Local experts said they aren't surprised. Right now about 30 percent of Missouri's population is obese. By these new projections 62 percent is expected to be obese, not just overweight, but obese by 2030.

"We tend to be on a little bit heavier side," said Jane Wernsman with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department.

Wernsman said the obesity rates are something they're looking to change. She said it's something they identified as a problem after a public health assessment earlier this year.

She said the department is working to bring those rates down in the next few years by working on programs that will make healthy foods more available, and will encourage physical activity.

"We are taking a look at what programs are available in the community and some that need to be, and if need be secure funding to provide those programs," said Wernsman.

Wernsman said high obesity rates can lead to other health problems, so it's something they definitely want to work on.

"What kind of activities are available right now, what kind of services, programs, and what do we need to maybe help develop in the community," said Wernsman.

"It is certainly much easier to be unhealthy than it is to be healthy, you really have to dedicate time, energy, commitment, to changing the way you do things," said Registered Dietitian Raina Childers.

Childers said it can be difficult to find the right plan to stay healthy.

"It's easy to get wrapped up in things even a Dr. Oz shares, he shares good information but what he provides everyday on what a person should do to lose weight and stay healthy can feel overwhelming to a working mom with 3 kids and how she'll do all the things Dr. Oz says she should do every day," said Childers.

Childers said it's important to figure out a way to make a health plan work in your life. She suggests incorporating experts or friends into your plan to encourage you along the way.

"Weight loss is promoted as something that should be quick and easy and you can attach something to your abdomen and shake it into a 6 pack you know so it's very confusing, and then when they struggle or it isn't easy or quick they give up or think something must be wrong with them," said Childers.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg is taking action by banning sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, but some wonder if that approach will work.

"I guess the answer is we'll see for instance like you said, if you limit it to a 16-ounce drink you can get a refill and so there you go, so I guess we'll just kind of have to see," said Wernsman.

Schools are working to bring healthier foods to the lunchroom, but some kids say those food aren't filling them up.

Childers said she's impressed with what schools have done so far, but knows the programs will still need a little work.

"The schools could use some updating on offering fruit and vegetables and less fried items, I think it's a good idea, but at the same time you have high school athletes that don't have the same calorie needs as you know 7th grade girls so how do we balance that out, how do we make more choice available for those athletes or those students that do require more calories, just as with adults there's not one cookie cutter calorie level that works for all young people," said Childers.

Laura Vollink, a registered dietitian that works with the food program serving students at Southeast Missouri State said kids need to continue to get exposure to healthier foods both at school at home.

"If we continue to offer it, eventually maybe they'll try the broccoli at school, or they'll try a salad at school but it may take several tries," said Childers.

Vollink said kids may not eat some of the healthier foods at first if they don't like how they taste, but hopes if it's incorporated at home too, they'll eat it while at school.

Childers said a healthy lifestyle needs to be a family affair.

"If I talk to a teenager everyday till I'm blue in the face and show them about healthy eating and all these things and they go home and mom and dad are modeling an unhealthy behavior then they're still going to go towards their default choice which would be to model their family, so it really has to be everyone involved, everyone at that same level of commitment to staying healthy," said Childers.

All the experts said the best thing to do is educate kids on healthy eating habits and physical activity to promote lower obesity rates in the future.

Below are the projections by state from Trust for America's Health:

Mississippi, 35%, 67%

Oklahoma, 31%, 66%

Delaware, 29%, 65%

Tennessee, 29%, 63%

South Carolina, 31%, 63%

Alabama, 32%, 63%

Kansas, 30%, 62%

Louisiana, 33%, 62%

Missouri, 30%, 62%

Arkansas, 31%, 61%

South Dakota, 28%, 60%

West Virginia, 32%, 60%

Kentucky, 30%, 60%

Ohio, 30%, 60%

Michigan, 31%, 59%

Arizona, 25%, 59%

Maryland, 28%, 59%

Florida, 27%, 59%

North Carolina, 29%, 58%

New Hampshire, 26%, 58%

Texas, 30%, 57%

North Dakota, 28%, 57%

Nebraska, 28%, 57%

Pennsylvania, 29%, 57%

Wyoming, 25%, 57%

Wisconsin, 28%, 56%

Indiana, 31%, 56%

Washington, 27%, 56%

Maine, 28%, 55%

Minnesota, 26%, 55%

Iowa, 29%, 54%

New Mexico, 26%, 54%

Rhode Island, 25%, 54%

Illinois, 27%, 54%

Georgia, 28%, 54%

Montana, 25%, 54%

Idaho, 27%, 53%

Hawaii, 22%, 52%

New York, 25%, 51%

Virginia, 29%, 50%

Nevada, 25%, 50%

Oregon, 27%, 49%

Massachusetts, 23%, 49%

New Jersey, 24%, 49%

Vermont, 25%, 48%

California, 24%, 47%

Connecticut, 25%, 47%

Utah, 24%, 46%

Alaska, 27%, 46%

Colorado, 21%, 45%

District of Columbia, 24%, 33%

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