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Indiana's Obesity Rate Is Rising: Rural Areas, Minorities Especially Vulnerable

The conference attendees heard from a variety of thought leaders throughout the day-long event. (Brock Turner, WTIU/WFIU News)

Health officials say obesity, especially in rural Indiana, is a growing problem. 

According to State Department of Health data 1 in 3 Hoosiers are obese.

Indiana’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute held a retreat in Bloomington Wednesday focused on addressing rural obesity.

About 100 professionals performing a range of functions in government, the private sector, and higher education research discussed how to combat the problem.  

Lindsey Bouza is the Director for the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Indiana State Department of Health. She says the rate of Hoosiers that classify as obese is increasing--especially among minoirty populations and those living in rural parts of the state.

“It’s going to take a lot more money and a lot more intentionality to work in specific communities that have some of those higher obesity rates,” she says.

According to a report from the Fairbanks Foundation earlier this year, obesity costs the state $8.5 million in lost productivity and associated healthcare costs.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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