Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Crisis: Nearly 1 in 3 Saline Co. Residents Are Obese
A new report says Nebraska had the nation's 23rd highest adult obesity rate in 2013.
That's according to the Associated Press, which reports the Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 29.6% of adults in Nebraska were obese last year.
This is nearly a 2% jump from the previous year.
Nebraska's obesity rate was higher than in Colorado and Wyoming but lower than its neighboring states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota.
The Dorchester Times did its own research and found Saline County is a bit heavier than the average Nebraska county.
More than 31% of Saline County residents -- nearly one in every three -- are obese, according to health data.
The definition of obese is "the condition of being grossly fat or overweight." The medical definition is having a body mass index (fat to muscle ratio) in excess of 30.
Meanwhile, obesity rates have tripled nationwide since 1980. The age group where the rates are growing the fastest? Children.
Parents take the blame for this, but our society on the whole is the problem. Kids lack the ability to buy and choose their own food. They’re at the mercy of what the rest of us give them. One of the biggest causes in our bad nutrition is that we’re reluctant to eat at home, opting instead for fatty, high-carbohydrate fast food, sodas and convenience food (such as cereals, so-called 'nutrition bars', and the like).
In 2009, almost 50% of our food spending was made on fast food or other food not cooked at home. When we do eat at home, it's typically lots of starches, breads and processed foods -- which pack on the pounds. It's actually rare to see families dine around the table nowadays, sharing lean meat, cooked veggies and fruits, and a glass of skim milk.
We hope Dorchester parents (and teens who are old enough to know better) are making wiser choices.