Unfortunately, it appears that the percentage of obese adults continues to rise in certain areas of America according to this article posted on the Huffington Post. It shows that Mississippi is the highest with 32.5 percent, for the fifth year in a row. Three additional states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, including Alabama, 31.2 percent; West Virginia, 31.1 percent; and Tennessee, 30.2 percent. Mississippi also had the highest rate of overweight and obese children, at 44.4 percent. It’s followed by Arkansas, 37.5 percent; and Georgia, 37.3 percent.
These are quite startling figures- almost half of the children in Mississippi are obese? But, one must remember, as one of my friends brought up- is that economic circumstances play huge roles in obesity in America. In one of my nutrition classes, we discussed the effects of money on the food choices that we make. Many families can’t afford to purchase organic, let alone buy fresh vegetables and fruit. Think about it- the cheapest things in the grocery store are highly processed packaged foods (although it is true that some vegetables and fruits can be cost effective). Also, it is of note to mention that in some of the Southern schools- physical education is dropped as soon as the budget becomes a problem. I think there needs to be a greater focus on the economic circumstances and more groups that help families in purchasing lower priced healthy foods. I know that the Mass Ave Project (http://www.mass-ave.org/) in Buffalo, NY uses its resources to educate lower income neighborhoods about healthy eating and urban farming- very inspirational. Hopefully more projects like that will pop up in cities across the country!
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