INDIANAPOLIS -- A new report says people in Indiana are still too heavy, but the state no longer ranks among the nation's 10 fattest states.
The Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's State of Obesity 2018 report says Indiana's public health generally lag the rest of the country and the state has not taken several steps that would help. It also concludes that Hoosier deaths from drug misuse, alcohol or suicide outpace the country as a whole.
The report says 33.6 percent of Hoosier adults are obese, ranking Indiana 12th highest for obesity in the country.
The report from 2017 ranked Indiana as the 10th worst obesity rate in the United States.
A spokesperson for the report told the Fort Wayne Journal that Indiana's new ranking doesn't necessarily mean that Hoosiers are slimming down, but could just mean that other states are getting worse.
Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recommend three guiding principles regarding obesity prevention:
Promote policies and scale programs that take a multi-sector approach.
- Multi-sector, aligned initiatives — collaborations that involve, for example, health departments, schools, transportation departments, local businesses, and other agencies — are more likely to achieve results.
Adopt and implement policies that help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
- Federal, state, and local governments can create conditions in schools, communities, and workplaces that make healthy eating and active living accessible, affordable, and convenient.
Invest in programs that level the playing field for all individuals and families.
- While obesity affects all populations, some have significantly higher levels than others — often due to social and economic factors largely beyond their control, such as racism, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare. Carefully designed initiatives that are informed by community input and address these challenges are critically important.
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