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Obesity In Mississippi

Obesity in Mississippi: statistics and programs

In 2011, Mississippi was ranked as the #1 most obese state in America. It was also the fattest state in the United States fifteen years ago.

Obesity in Mississippi has almost doubled over the last 15 years, and currently is at 34.4% for adults.

  • When you combine the rates for overweight and obese adults, the total becomes 68.8% of their population.

  • During the 2010 Census, the total population of Mississippi was counted at 2,967,297 U. S. Census 2010.

  • This means that over 2 million people are overweight or obese in this state alone, and face substantially increased risks of life-threatening health conditions.

  • In addition, diabetes has also almost doubled to 11.8% and 34.8% of the people are reporting high blood pressure.

  • Statistics for racial or ethnic categories show

      42.6% obese rates among Blacks,

      35.4% among Latinos,

      and 30.4% among Whites.

Childhood obesity in Mississippi

  • As of 2007, 21.9 per cent of children and teens, age 10 to 17, were considered obese.

  • Approximately 26% of Mississippi’s population is under the age of 18, making up to 160,000 young people at risk of developing serious medical conditions.

County rankings for obesity in Mississippi

  • According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2008, Mississippi counties with obese levels over 40% include Claiborne, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Quitman, Sunflower, and Tunica County.

  • The highest rate is in Coahoma at 43%.

  • Obesity in Mississippi is under 30% in only Madison and Tishomingo County.

  • Diabetes rates are over 12% in Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Grenada, Hoomes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leflore, Lowndes, Marshall, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Panola, Pike, Quitman, Scott, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tippah, Tunica, Walthall, Washington, Wilkinson, Winston, Yalobusha, and Yazoo County.

  • The highest rate was in Jefferson County at 15.1% and diabetes rates are only under 10% in Lamar and Pontotoc County.

  • Holmes County reports the most inactive people at 39.2%, with these counties also reporting more than 35% of their population as inactive: Adams, Benton, Calhoun, Claiborne, Clarke, Coahoma, Copiah, Greene, Grenada, Humphreys, Jasper, Jefferson, Kemper, Leake, Leflore, Marshall, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Scott, Sharkey, Tippah, And Tunica county.

Federal, state, and community help to lose weight and improve general health:

  • Mississippi is among 20 states choosing school meal standards that are more strict than federal USDA standards and among 29 other states that restrict the sale of competitive foods more than federal standards.

  • It does not require body mass index (BMI) screening for children and teens.

  • It does not have a farm-to-school program, nor does it have Complete Streets laws that support bicycling and pedestrian safety to encourage exercise.

  • Mississippi has extensive resources for outdoor recreation, including the Atlantic Ocean, the Mississippi River and others, forested areas outside the Delta, The Gulf Islands National Seashore, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, as well as state parks, and private recreational facilities.

  • Mississippi produces abundant seafood, fish (catfish), and with flood control, has more reliable fruit, vegetable, dairy, poultry, and meat production for a healthy diet.

  • Other sources of help to reduce Mississippi obesity levels include private physicians, hospital educational support, church support groups, non-profit organizations, community initiatives, public health state task force childhood programs, and community grants from the federal government, in addition to self-education.

These Mississippi obesity statistics are reported in ”F as in Fat” from the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, using state and national public health statistical data.

Mississippi uses the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to monitor neural tube defects, asthma, and diabetes, as well as to prepare estimates of tobacco use, and develop new programs.

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