Report says obesity threatens Oklahoma's future

As many as two-thirds of Oklahomans may be obese by 2030, according to a report released Tuesday. The report also looks at Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, among other obesity-related diseases.
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE Modified: September 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm •  Published: September 18, 2012

As many as two-thirds of Oklahomans may be obese by 2030, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012,” projects an increase from Oklahoma's current obesity rate of 31.1 percent to 66.4 percent in less than 20 years.

Oklahoma ranked second-worst among the states in the 2030 obesity-rate projections, with 66.7 percent of Mississippi residents estimated to be obese by that time.

The report also projects increases in Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension, arthritis and obesity-related cancers.

But it suggests that obesity-related health care costs in Oklahoma could climb 10.8 percent by 2030.

Dr. Teri Bourdeau, clinical associate professor of behavior at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, said the report is in line with other research in the area of obesity.

A change in culture is part of the reason more people are becoming overweight. Children and adults are spending more time in front of a screen than being active, she said.

“We all sit a lot,” she said. “We don't walk on a farm. We don't walk our land.”

The report states that if Oklahomans lowered their body mass indexes — BMIs — by 5 percent, the state could save 7.2 percent in health care costs and save thousands of people from preventable diseases.

Bourdeau said that change is possible. Small changes at the community level can have a big effect.

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