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Report: Indiana Obesity Rate Inches Up, State Ranks 15th Worst

By Jill Sheridan, IPB News | Published on in Government, Health, Statewide News
(Pxhere)
(Pxhere)

The number of people with obesity in Indiana has increased according to the annual State of Obesity report.

Indiana’s rate has inched up from 31 percent in 2013 to just over 34 percent this year. The report is from the Trust for America’s Health and Rhea Farberman is director of policy research.

“That’s thousands of people who are now obese and face those health risks,” says Farberman.

Those risks include diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancer. Farberman says lower income and minority Hoosiers have a greater risk of obesity.

“We really have to think about all the conditions in a person’s life that allows them to make healthy food choices and be more physically active,” says Farberman.

The report recommends policies to improve outcomes including increased nutrition support program participation, better park access and more coverage for obesity prevention.

Farberman says the states rate increase may mean current efforts aren’t effective.

“The state really needs to step back and say what can we do more of, what evidence-based programs do we need to put in place, and what is a more comprehensive approach to obesity prevention that we need to embrace?” Farberman says.

Indiana is tied with Nebraska with the 15th worst rate nationwide.

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.