Obesity numbers for Iowa and Minnesota

KIMT News 3 - The 2013 numbers are out as healthyamericans.org released their State of Obesity Report. Unfortunately, the numbers remain very high. Adult obesity rates did not decrease in any state, however they increased in six over the past year. The good news is, Iowa and Minnesota are not included in those six, but the two vary greatly.

Two years ago, Jodi Blong made the decision to lose weight and since then, she’s lost 67 pounds. Now she is one of the 75% of healthy Minnesotans. In Iowa though, it’s another story. Despite the close proximity of the states, the obesity ratings are not as close. Iowa has the 12th highest obesity rating, while Minnesota has the 11th lowest. Nationwide numbers are not good. The State of Obesity Report says, one contributing factor is money.

“A lot of research does show that lower income populations are more at risk for being obese,” says dietitian, Megan Conlon.

She hears a lot people say they cannot afford to eat healthy.

“Actually, if you start to look at things and break them down, it is pretty easy to eat healthy on a budget,” says Conlon.

She says when you begin looking at the price per serving, healthy foods can end up costing less than convenience food.

It’s important to start healthy habits young, because according to the study, one in three kids are obese.

“That’s definitely one thing to be concerned about, and you know they learn their healthy habits from us, and the people around them,” says Conlon.

She says a simple swap for your child’s breakfast could be a bowl of low sugar cereal versus a high calorie toaster pastry. Depending on the cereal, it will be healthier and possibly cheaper. Those like Blong try to be that healthy influence for their children.

“I try to be a good role model by demonstrating the importance of exercise, better nutrition, and how to make smarter choices,” says Blong.

Other factors that contribute to obesity include geographic location and race. More people are found to be obese in the south, and among African Americans. Based on the report, by 2030, nearly half of the United States will be considered obese if the trend continues.

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