Statewide Iowa — (RI) — A new report finds nearly 18-percent of Iowa youth are obese, the tenth highest level among the 50 states.
Jamie Bussel, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says childhood obesity remains a major public health challenge, with significant financial and societal implications.
Scientists predict more than half of today’s children will be obese by age 35 if current trends continue. The report looked at youth from ages ten through 17. In Iowa, 17.7-percent of young people were obese, compared to the national average of 15.8-percent.
The health care costs of childhood obesity may reach $14-billion this year versus $200-billion for adult obesity. Better diets and portion control paired with increased exercise are part of the solution, and she says we all need to be vigilant.
The report shows Mississippi has the highest youth obesity rate at 26.1 percent, while Utah has the lowest, at 8.7 percent. While most states remained steady from previous surveys, only North Dakota saw a significant drop in youth obesity rates this year.
To view the entire report, visit stateofobesity.org