Reporting Brenda Waters
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — According to a new report by the Trust for America’s Health, Pennsylvania is among those states ranked highest in obesity.
Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania ranks as 19th on the list of the most obese states. We’re at 29.2 percent, which is an increase from last year.
The hefty figures come from the eighth annual “F as in Fat” report from Trust for America’s Health.
“Well, we do have a problem here in Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh is no exception,” said Leslie Bonci, the director for UPMC Sports Nutrition, “and I think it brings it to the forefront.”
The forefront indeed; portions are bigger, plates are bigger, cups are bigger, and the bottom line is we are bigger. And so, with more girth comes more problems.
“The risk of diabetes, the risk of blood pressure goes up. It isn’t just in adults; it is in kids as well,” says Bonci. “So ‘F’ is really not a letter I like to see.”
Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Now, they all do, the highest is Mississippi at 34 and a half percent.
So, what should Pennsylvanians do to get to the bottom of this list? Bonci says for starters we need to change our eating habits and move more – not necessarily at the gym – but definitely get going.
“The third, definitely, a change in what we eat,” Bonci says.
Obesity is no joke, it is related to more than 13 chronic diseases and is the biggest reason why health care costs continue to rise.
So, where will we find the thinnest people? That would be Colorado and Washington, D.C.