South Carolina adults getting fatter

jholleman@thestate.comAugust 16, 2013 

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  • Getting fatter Percentage of adults who were obese in South Carolina, from “F as in Fat” report from Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    Year Percent

    2003 24.5

    2004 25.1

    2005 26.2

    2006 27.8

    2007 29.2

    2008 29.7

    2009 29.9

    2010 30.9

    2011 30.8

    2012 31.6

    Obesity by age group Adult obesity rates by age group in South Carolina in 2012, from the annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Age Percent

    18-24 18.6

    25-34 30.3

    35-44 37.7

    45-54 37.5

    55-64 35.7

    65+ 27.2

Getting fatter

Percentage of adults who were obese in South Carolina, from “F as in Fat” report from Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Year Percent
200324.5
200425.1
200526.2
200627.8
200729.2
200829.7
200929.9
201030.9
201130.8
201231.6

Obesity by age group

Adult obesity rates by age group in South Carolina in 2012, from the annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Age Percent
18-2418.6
25-3430.3
35-4437.7
45-5437.5
55-6435.7
65+27.2

While the increase in the rate of adult obesity in South Carolina has slowed in the past five years, the latest statistics indicate the battle to reverse the trend will be a long one.

The rise from 2011 to 2012 — to 31.6 percent from 30.8 percent — is small enough to be considered level because of the margin of error in the survey, according to the annual “F as in Fat” report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

After nearly doubling from 16.6 percent in 1995 to 29.2 percent in 2007, the increase in adult obesity rate in South Carolina began to level off. The surveys even indicated a decrease to 30.8 in 2011 from 30.9 in 2010 before the modest increase to 31.6 in 2012, the latest year in the survey.

Coleman Tanner, a community coordinator with Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, sees the stabilization in obesity rates as a result of years of work. She cited programs to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, to improve public recreation access and to bring the obesity fight into workplaces through fitness and healthy eating efforts.

“As far as getting the tide to turn, it’s going to take cooperation” from community groups, schools, work sites and the health care industry to continue the positive momentum, Tanner said.

South Carolina ranked as the seventh fattest state in 2012, after tying for eighth fattest in 2011. The state has hovered in that vicinity since ranking eighth fattest in the first “F as in Fat” report in 1995.

The leveling off is a national trend. The challenge is turning the momentum around and decreasing the obesity rate.

“While stable rates of adult obesity may signal prevention efforts are starting to yield some results, the rates remain extremely high,” said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health. “Even if the national holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers — who are aging into obesity-related illnesses — and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis in the health care system and Medicare.”

Arkansas, up to 34.5 percent from 30.9 percent, was the only state where the rate increased remarkably in 2012. No state had a remarkable drop.

Thirteen states have rates above 30 percent and 41 states are above 25 percent, according to the 2012 report. In 1991, no state was above 20 percent. In 2000, no state was above 25 percent.

A CDC report released earlier this month showed childhood obesity rates had dropped in 18 states. That report, based on children ages 2-4 in the federal Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, didn’t include data from South Carolina.

South Carolina is getting fatter

Percentage of adults who were obese in South Carolina, from “F as in Fat” report from Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Year Percent
200324.5
200425.1
200526.2
200627.8
200729.2
200829.7
200929.9
201030.9
201130.8
201231.6

Obesity by age group

Adult obesity rates by age group in South Carolina in 2012, from the annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Age Percent
18-2418.6
25-3430.3
35-4437.7
45-5437.5
55-6435.7
65+27.2

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