PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The nation’s obesity epidemic is growing, according to a new report released Tuesday. Experts say this is an alarming trend, increasing the risk for a number of serious and deadly conditions. Doctors say the situation locally is concerning.
Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of obesity in the country, according to the CDC. They say 67% of adults in the city are overweight.
Nationwide, obesity rates are climbing, and within certain population groups, according to the latest State of Obesity report from Trust for America’s Health.
In Pennsylvania more than 31% of adults are obese, New Jersey has 26% and 36% of adults in Delaware are overweight.
“Just a decade ago, no state in the country had an adult obesity rate above 35%,” Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, said. “These trends are also concerning among our youth and children, nearly 20% have obesity.”
Doctors say the increases are alarming. Obesity raises the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
“Obesity can be prevented,” Gracia said. “It can be treated and managed. But yet we as a country haven’t really put the investment in to truly address the crisis at the magnitude that is.”
Another concerning trend, certain communities of color have higher rates of obesity as well as some areas where incomes are low.
“It’s really important to understand that these are driven by longstanding inequities that we see in social and economic conditions in these communities,” Gracia said. “For example, factors such as poverty and such as food insecurity, housing instability, having less access to quality health care and root causes of structural racism and discrimination.”
And in North Philadelphia, the CDC says 70% of youngsters are overweight or obese, and the majority are Black or Hispanic. That’s nearly double the national average.
The city has a number of programs aimed at reversing the trend by getting more healthy food options and produce into neighborhoods.
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