Number of states with high obesity prevalence rates climbs to nine
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of states with an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more tripled in two years to nine states in 2009. Researchers said this is significant because in 2000, no state had an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more. The report also found that no state met the nation's Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15 percent.
The data found a 1.1 percentage point increase -- an additional 2.4 million people -- in the self-reported prevalence of obesity between 2007 and 2009 among adults aged 18 and older. The report also noted that in 2008 dollars medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion. People who are obese had medical costs that were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. The highest prevalence of obesity was found among non-Hispanic blacks overall, whose rate was 36.8 percent, and non-Hispanic black women, whose rate was 41.9 percent.
"Obesity continues to be a major public health problem," said Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC. "We need intensive, comprehensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity. If we don't, more people will get sick and die from obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death."
According to previous studies, having a body mass index in the overweight or obese range increases an employee's risk of suffering a traumatic injury and nearly doubles the individual's likelihood that he will file a workers' compensation claim. Obese workers are also more likely to take longer to return to work following an injury.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 27, 2010
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