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Alliance Statement on 'The State of Obesity' Report

 The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation applauds the work of the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for shining the spotlight on a national epidemic through their most recent report, The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.

These data show that, between 2014 and 2015, adult obesity rates decreased in four states (Minnesota, Montana, New York and Ohio), increased in two (Kansas and Kentucky) and remained stable in the remaining 44 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, these latest data make it clear that obesity and related diseases continue to disproportionately affect minority populations and those living in the South (9 out of 11 states with the highest rates of obesity are Southern states).

While any decrease in obesity is worth celebrating, the progress that we’re seeing is not enough to offset the health threats that obesity poses to the rest of our nation, by putting millions of Americans at increased risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

Research tells us that one of the best ways to prevent adult obesity is through establishing healthy eating and physical activity habits in childhood. For more than a decade, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation has been committed to empowering children to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them provide and promote good health – because we know that youth are more likely to carry these good habits with them into adulthood.

Working in partnership with many like-minded organizations and individuals, we’ve been successful in changing the environments where children spend their time – from schools to afterschool programs to restaurants and doctor’s offices, helping more than 20 million children to grow up healthier. Today’s report supports the evidence that, while collectively we’ve made great strides toward our goal, our mission remains critically important to ensuring the health of the next generation.

Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH
Chief Executive Officer
Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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