The school year is just starting and already our nation has a failing grade. According to "F as in Fat," a report issued by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 41 states have adult obesity rates over 25%. Obesity is a leading risk factor for chronic disease including heart disease, the number one killer of men and women.
However, there is reason for hope. After decades of increases, the report shows adult obesity rates have leveled off in nearly all states. Also encouraging is news out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that many states are now seeing a decline in childhood obesity among low-income preschool children.
These improvements are promising but the costs of obesity, in terms of both financial costs and poor health, remain high. That is why the American Heart Association remains committed to advocate for policies that promote quality physical and health education, increased physical activity opportunities, strong nutrition policies and research to effectively treat and prevent obesity in children. The new Voices for Healthy Kids initiative will allow for even greater growth in these areas. Click here to learn more about Voice for Healthy Kids.