Delaware Public Media

Delaware is middle of the pack in national obesity data

Sep 13, 2018

The latest survey from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows Delaware’s obesity rate to be moderate compared to the rest of the country.

Statewide obesity rates ranged between West Virginia’s worst in the nation 38.1% and Colorado, which topped the list at 22.6%

Delaware ranked 23rd with a 31.8% obesity rate, little or no change from last year’s data.

But Trust for America’s Health President and CEO John Aurbach notes Delaware’s obesity has gone up significantly in recent years along with the rest of the country.

“It’s notable that the level in Delaware is statistically significantly higher than it was five years ago and it’s almost double what it was at the turn of the century,” said Aurbach.

This is the study’s 15th year and the new data shows no states decreasing in obesity.

Aurbach encourages statewide policies promoting healthy lifestyles like mandatory recess in schools and complete streets transportation policies supporting bikeability and walkability.

He warns of the financial and health hazards associated with obesity.

“We know that when the obesity rate rises, people are much more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, hypertension that can not only create serious health problems, it can actually shorten people’s lives,” said Aurbach.

The survey entreats Congress to consider more funding for the CDC to support state Public Health departments combat obesity.