Fewer states reporting high obesity rates - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fewer states reporting high obesity rates

ADVISORY: According to 'Trust for America's Health,' Washington State ranks 28th in adult obesity rates and 33rd in childhood obesity rates. To see the entire health report for Washington, click here.

WASHINGTON. - As a nation, experts say we're still putting on far too many pounds. It's a big problem that experts say may soon begin to drain your tax dollars.

A new report takes a state-by-state look at obesity and what's likely to happen as baby boomers hit their Medicare years, weighing much more than their parents did.

The new report "F As In Fat" finds in 23 states, almost half, obesity is on the rise.

That's better than last year, but looking back almost a decade when no state had more than a 20 percent obesity rate.

Today, every state but Colorado is at 20 percent or more.

It's worse for kids: in most states, almost a third of the children are obese or overweight.

"We've been on this trajectory that really is unsustainable in terms of the health of our country," said Jeff Levi of the Trust for America's Health organization.

And, experts warn, wait till all the overweight baby boomers start to flood Medicare with their obesity-related diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes.

The report found today's 55 to 64-year-olds are much heavier than today's seniors and Medicare's already on the brink of bankruptcy.

"Add to that the fact that the latest evidence suggests that people with obesity have healthcare costs that are 20 to 30 percent higher than people who aren't obese and you've got the makings for an even more severe financial challenge," former Medicare Administrator Mark McClellan said.

"If we can help somebody control obesity they're less likely to get diabetes," President Barack Obama said.

That was part of the President's pitch for health reform Wednesday.

The report's authors are urging Congress to make obesity a national priority.

The report also found many states have changed laws or added programs that are working; they're just few and far between and often underfunded.

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