Report 'F as in Fat' Ranks NW Health

By Tom Bacon

The good news is - Washingtonians, Oregonians and Idahoans didn't collectively gain much weight this year. But, they didn't lose much, either. More than one in four people in the Northwest is considered obese.
The annual report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation calls obesity in America an epidemic. And the authors warn that the current generation of young people may be the first in American history to live sicker and die younger than their parents.

All three northwestern states rank in the lower half of obesity rates - Idaho and Washington are tied at 32nd place with obesity rates of 26-point-8 percent. Oregon is not far behind at 28th place with a rate of 27.3 percent. In addition to Idaho, Oregon and Washington, 38 other states have obesity rates above 25 percent. The authors of the report said it's astounding that just 30 years ago, the highest adult obesity rate for any state was still lower than the lowest obesity rate today.

But there may be a glimmer of decline in the three northwestern states. They have some of the lowest rates of obesity in the country among kids ages 10-17. Oregon ranked lowest in that category with only 9.9 percent of overly fat kids, while Idaho and Washington were just a bit above at 10.6  and 11 percent respectively.

The report points out that the biggest driver of preventible chronic disease and healthcare costs is obesity, a factor which costs somewhere between 147-billion and 210-billion dollars a year. The report is called F as in Fat.
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