South Carolina Ranked 10th in Adult Obesity Nationally

A new report ranks South Carolina 10th in adult obesity nationally, maintaining the same rank as the 2014 report though the percent of adult obesity rose from 31.7% to 32.1%. The 12th annual report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in three states (Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi), are at or above 30 percent in 22 states and are not below 21 percent in any. In 1980, no state had a rate above 15 percent, and in 1991, no state had a rate above 20. Now, nationally, more than 30 percent of adults, nearly 17 percent of 2 to 19 year olds and more than 8 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are obese.

The State of Obesity also reviews key programs that can help prevent and address obesity by improving nutrition in schools, child care and food assistance; increasing physical activity before, during and after school; expanding healthcare coverage for preventing and treating obesity; making healthy affordable food and safe places to be active more accessible in neighborhoods, such as through Complete Streets and healthy food financing initiatives; increasing healthy food options via public-private partnerships; and creating and sustaining policies that help all children maintain a healthy weight and adults be as healthy as possible, no matter their weight.

Today, two out of three South Carolina adults and one out of three children are overweight or obese. Obesity has become a major contributor to the diseases that kill the most people in South Carolina, make the most people sick and costs South Carolina the most money to treat. In response to these devastating statistics, the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan was released in the fall of 2014. This plan provides evidence-based strategies and activities to guide partners in reducing the burden of obesity in our state over the next five years. The SCale Down Initiative was launched in January 2015 to facilitate the implementation of the action plan.

SCale Down is a collaborative, statewide initiative that engages key partners in achieving the 74 objectives outlined in the Obesity Action Plan. The Initiative also seeks to eliminate duplication of efforts and better promote achieved successes by connecting and mobilizing stakeholders who are working to reduce and prevent obesity in the Palmetto State. IMPH facilitates the SCale Down initiative in partnership with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Explore the full report.

View the South Carolina state brief.


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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health