South Carolina Ranked 7th in the Nation for Obesity
Over the past decade obesity rates among adults have started to decline, though still remaining dangerously high overall. South Carolina is now ranked seventh in the nation for obesity. The Post and Courier defined obesity in a recent article released as excessively high amounts of body fat compared to lean body mass. South Carolina’s ranking is contributed by the 31.7 percent of obese individuals in 2013, according to The State Newspaper. This ranking has decreased in recent years, however, for over a decade from 1990 to 2007 the percentage nearly doubled. In conjunction with the adult obesity rate, the national childhood obesity rate has also declined in some states but as a nation nearly one out of every three children is overweight or obese. State health leaders in South Carolina have begun to focus their efforts on childhood obesity in South Carolina by creating several health initiative programs. Improving school lunch programs and encouraging more physical activity are significant efforts in the decline of childhood obesity in the state as well. Actions similar to South Carolina’s are taking place around the country including healthy food financing, improving nutrition efforts in schools and limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.
September 24, 2014 the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control unveiled a new statewide obesity initiative in conjunction with several statewide partners. Held at the South Carolina Farmers Market, the ceremony introduced the new state action plan which rallies partners from across the state to execute strategies that address obesity risk factors in the major areas where South Carolinian’s live, work, learn, and play. The plan focuses on long-term solutions as well as short-term strategies that can be implemented immediately to begin moving the scale down on obesity in our state.
IMPH was pleased to have been a part of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s initiative launch and looks forward to the progress it will bring to South Carolina’s need to scale down. For more information on our nations obesity rankings please visit Healtyamericans.org.