A new report has found Iowa’s obesity rate is increasing. In 2019, nearly 34 percent of Iowa adults were considered obese.
“Schools, businesses, public health and elected officials all need to create the right conditions so that the easier behavior is the healthier one,” says John Auerbach, president of the Trust for America’s Health, the non-profit that released the report.
The report predicts Iowa’s obesity rate will increase this year after thousands of Iowans either lost their jobs or saw their income drop due to the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“You are more likely to buy the least expensive foods, which unfortunately are foods that have the most calories and the least nutritional value,” he says.
More than 73 percent of obese Iowans were over the age of 45. The report also found obesity is growing problem among Iowa kids, with 23 percent of Iowa high school students were classified as either overweight or obese.
The report recommends that children under the age of 17 engage in moderate to intense physical activity at least 60 minutes a day.
The report recommends adults get three to five hours of aerobic activity each week.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Natalie Krebs; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)