Photo: Malingering (Flickr)
A study released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation indicates that, based on current trends, Indiana’s obesity rate will reach 56 percent by the year 2030.
Indiana Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin says the results of the study were not a surprise. He says it’s more of a warning sign for a problem the state is already trying to address.
“Last year the Department of Health released Indiana’s comprehension Nutrition and Physical Exercise Plan which within has a series of recommendations for communities to consider, which includes children improving their exercise and the schools reevaluating their nutrition standards,” Larkin says.
Indiana isn’t the only state in trouble. Thirty-nine other states could also have obesity rates of more than half of their population by 2030, according to the report.
Samantha Schaefer is a registered dietitian at Indiana University Community Health Center. She says people can change their individual habits, but the country as a whole needs to also work on changing.
“It’s not really a lack of will power that you see or a lack of motivation. Really what is happening is that our life is getting in the way,” Schaefer says. “We don’t have a culture that sets up for us to make the healthy choice or the easy choice.”
A Centers for Disease Control study released earlier this year shows Indiana ranks eighth in the nation for obese residents, with 29 percent of Hoosiers identifying as obese.