Guest Blogger: Grace Henscheid, Grassroots Advocacy Director
In early September the State of Obesity Report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust of America’s Health was released and it is clear there is still much work to be done in our fight against obesity.
While there are many statistics in the report, one of the numbers that stood out to us was that the obesity rate in California did not decrease this past year. In 2013, California ranked the 46th highest obesity rate in the nation with an adult obesity rate of 24.1%.
While California’s obesity rate is faring better when compared to the rest of the nation, when we compare apples to apples, California’s obesity rate has increased by 14% over the last 24 years. This staggering increase in the obesity rate illustrates the need to continue building communities that encourage healthy eating and active lifestyles. One of the programs the American Heart Association offers for free to people that are trying to improve their health is the “Life’s Simple 7” program. This program helps participants to manage heart health by understanding the importance of getting active, controlling cholesterol, eating better, managing blood pressure, losing weight, reducing blood sugar and stopping smoking.
In addition to this program we are actively working to combat the obesity epidemic by passing state and local legislation. These policies can include but not limited to: passing a state or local level tax on sugar sweetened beverages, monitoring current healthy vending regulations, increasing tobacco taxes, and increasing funds for obesity prevention programs.
There is much work to be done in California to drive down our obesity rate. With help from advocates like you we believe it is a battle we can win. If you are interested in seeing how you can get involved, please contact Josh Brown at [email protected].