Arizona is on course to dramatically increase its obesity rate over the next 20 years, according to a report released this month by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
If obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, the obesity rate in Arizona could reach 58.8 percent, the report says.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011, 24.7 percent of adults in Arizona were obese.
The report’s analysis shows that states could prevent obesity-related diseases and dramatically reduce health care costs if they reduced the average body mass index of their residents by 5 percent by 2030.
For a six-foot-tall person weighing 200 pounds, a 5 percent reduction in the body mass index would be the equivalent of losing roughly 10 pounds, the report says.
Over the next 20 years, obesity could contribute to 217,683 new cases of obesity-related cancer in Arizona, say authors of the report, titled “F as in Fat.”
“We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago,” Jeff Levi, executive director of The Trust for America’s Health, said in a news release.
“This report also outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives.”