September 21, 2015

Report: Nearly 1 In 3 Hoosiers Obese

Indiana's obesity rate has climbed every year since 2008. - file photo

Indiana's obesity rate has climbed every year since 2008.

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana is the 7th most obese state in the nation, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health, nearly 1/3 of all Hoosiers are obese.

The state obesity rate has climbed every year since 2008, which is problematic. Obesity, measured by comparing a person's height to their weight, can have drastic health consequences.

"Diabetes, heart disease, hytpertension, some cancers, arthritis. A whole host of problems can occur when someone is overweight or obese," said Albet Lang, a spokeperson for Trust for America's Health. "And they can have chronic and debilitating effects on their life."

Having these chronic conditions appear in such a big part of the population take a huge financial and human toll. But what can be done about it?

Lang said part of the solution is to attack the problem early. Make sure kids get enough exercise and eat right to keep their weight in check. Getting adults to lose weight is difficult, but even just maintaining weight can help.

"They will be less likely to develop diabetes, develop arthritis," Lang said. "So keeping adults at the level they are and making sure children never, are the two ways states can do the best to make sure rates going forward stay where they are or even decrease."

Lang says one bright spot in the report is that obesity in many states seems to be stabilizing.

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