A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows national obesity rates continue to climb.
Data collected by the CDC shows nine states now have adult obesity rates above 30-percent, while at least 25-percent of Wisconsin’s population is considered obese. State Department of Health Services nutritionist Mary Pesick says it’s a serious problem that needs intensive efforts to combat.
The CDC classifies an obese person as someone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more.
Obesity-related illnesses resulted in $147 billion in medical costs in 2008, with much of the bill being picked up by taxpayers through government-funded programs.
The CDC is urging federal action to fight the problem. Pesick says the state is already working with programs to better educate the public, although she says people need to take responsibility for their own health as well. She says healthier food choices and more active lifestyles will go a long way towards helping to bring obesity rates down.