Obesity is a growing problem in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity rates in the United States have increased by more than 12% in the past 20 years. Additionally, the prevalence of severe obesity has increased by about 5% during the same time period.
There aren’t many states that don’t have an obesity problem either. In 2010, over 36 states had an obesity rate of 25% or higher, according to Harvard School of Public Health. Unfortunately, there are a few states that have rates higher than 30% – and North Carolina is on that list.
Obesity in North Carolina
Per the State of Childhood Obesity Organization, North Carolina’s adult obesity rate is 33 percent. Children between the ages of 10 and 17 have an obesity rate of 13.5% in the state, while WIC participants between 2 and 4 had an obesity rate of 14.2%.
Overall, North Carolina ranks 19th for adult obesity in the country. Per 2016 state data provided by the CDC, lack of access to healthy food options, and lack of exercise contributes to these high rates.
Additionally, obesity can be associated with chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Breaking Down Obesity Rates – Johnston County
When it comes to high obesity rates, Johnston County in North Carolina is no exception. Dietspotlight collected the statistics on the county’s residents to see just how much of a problem obesity is.
According to Dietspotlight, “The average pounds to lose in Johnston is 61 pounds. That is 3% higher than the state average of 60 pounds and 4 percent higher than the country average of 59 pounds.”
Data can break it down by the individual as well. The average obese man in Johnston County weighs 226 pounds and has a BMI of 32, while the average woman weighs 193 and has a BMI of 33. The BMI, or body mass index, compares weight and height to get an estimate on an individual’s health. A healthy BMI is generally between 18 and 25.
Obesity Programs in North Carolina
Alongside the State Public Health Actions Program, North Carolina implemented a number of partnerships and programs to help lower obesity rates and those of its associated conditions. The North Carolina Safe Routes to School project implements ways to help children have the ability to safely walk and bike to school to increase activity levels, while Farmers’ Markets: An Abbreviated Accessibility Survey is a project that aims to increase accessibility to farmer’s markets.
Dietspotlight reviews and validates all research shared with its team of medical professionals and nutritionists from around the world.