Iowa ranks 17th in the nation on a new obesity study — and that’s not the healthy half of the list. Laura Segal, spokeswoman for the group “Trust for America’s Health,” says nearly one-quarter of all Iowa adults are obese, ranking the state 17th, while Iowa has the 10th highest levels for overweight low-income children ages two-to-five. Segal says it’s unfortunate, but Iowa’s not unique as 40 states have obesity levels at over 20-percent, meaning, a significant portion of the U-S is obese. She says the state spent an average of 266-dollars per person in 2003 on medical costs related to obesity, which was the 21st highest amount in the nation. Those costs include things like Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance costs.Iowa has 23-point-nine percent of adults obese. Iowa also ranks 30th for diabetes with six-point-seven percent of Iowans being diabetic. Segal says the added weight of the obesity epidemic to our nation’s already ailing health system is causing it to burst at the seams. Nearly 119-million American adults, about 65-percent of the population, are currently overweight or obese. She says kids learn their bad health habits young.The study found Iowa schools have no policies to restrict vending machines that compete with school-sponsored nutritious lunches. Overall, Alabama ranked number-one on the study, Colorado was last — meaning, Colorado’s residents were the least obese. To see the full study, surf to “www.healthyamericans.org”.
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