According to the Centers for Disease Control, the national obesity rate was 42.4% for 2017-2018, which is extremely high for any country. Some of the reasons why obesity is such a problem are because it is a primary factor for developing life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise is key to being healthy overall and living a longer life.
When discussing obesity in America, Mississippi is the second most obese state in the country with a rate of 37.35%, which is just under West Virginia at 37.7% according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, and all states and territories of the United States had an obesity rate of at least 20%. This problem has become one of the most controversial topics related to the health of American citizens.
Now, if we break down Mississippi even further to the county level, we can see how the average person is faring in the fight against obesity.
When data from Dietspotlight was collected anonymously and voluntarily, it showed a particularly close look at Hinds County, MS.
In Hinds County, the average man searching for assistance with weight loss, weighs about 238 pounds. He has a body mass index of 35. Body mass index, or BMI as it is commonly called, is a measure of body fat based on various body measurements. Anything over 30 is obese.
Women in the county tend to weigh about 196 pounds and have a BMI of 33.
All-in-all, the average county resident needs to lose about 72 pounds, which is “11% higher than the state average of 65 pounds and 22% higher than the country average of 59 pounds.”
Currently, Mississippi has a plan of action in place, along with programs designed to help reduce obesity through education and other strategies. An effort to target obesity in school-age children is the primary tactic of the state. They are currently using the Women Infants and Children program to establish a school wellness plan that encourages healthy school meals designed to manage weight. The Bower Foundation is also offering Five Star food grants to schools integrating fresh foods and eliminating fryers. Mississippi has also partnered with the Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute in 2016 to do research on the rise of obesity and diabetes in the state.
Dietspotlight ensures all research is accurate and current by employing a team of medical professionals and nutritionists to review research for validity and timeliness.