When it comes to the battle of the obesity epidemic, Arizona is doing better than many states, but obesity rates here and across the country are still alarmingly high. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 29.5% of Arizona adults are obese, ranking our state 30th in the nation. This year’s Arizona obesity rate is about the same as last year’s figure.
Obesity prevention efforts throughout the state aim to lower our rates. The Arizona Health Improvement Plan: Healthy People, Healthy Communities (2017/2018) includes a specific goal of increasing the number of people who are at a healthy weight. Four key strategies to make this happen include making affordable and healthy foods more accessible, increasing physical activity, incorporating obesity prevention and treatment into medical care, and empowering all Arizonans to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also highlights the steps we need to take to reverse the obesity epidemic. Throughout the Arizona Department of Health Services, programs are working with communities and implementing many of the recommendations made by TFAH and the foundation.
- The Empower program supports licensed child care facilities in strengthening obesity prevention and health-related practices.
- The Arizona WIC Program serves more than 130,000 participants providing healthy foods, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support.
- Strong Families AZ provides free home visits to help families raise healthy children.
- AZ Health Zone works to assist low-income communities to make healthy eating and active living affordable and convenient.
We can combat obesity together by being bold in our work and using evidence-based solutions to save lives and reduce healthcare costs.