Obesity rates rising in Louisiana and across the U.S.

June 1, 2015
Americans are losing the battle against obesity with rates on the rise, according to a Gallup Poll.  

The numbers aren't good for Louisiana either as Melissa Martin, Well-Ahead Louisiana program manager and dietician explained.

"We are now ranked third with the highest obesity rate close to, I believe, 33.2 percent," said Martin.  "What we also know about obesity is that it's so closely related to chronic disease.  Chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes follow that as well."     

So could the problem be the great food we have down here?

"Well you know food is definitely a big factor when it comes to being overweight or obese but what we also know about obesity is that it has a lot to do with your environment," said Martin.

"We recognize that our Louisiana culture which we love and we enjoy doesn't necessarily always inject health," Martin noted.

And while food is a problem for us in the state, she says we need empower our leaders in our communities to make health a part of our conversation saying economic development and productivity in the workplace is all impacted by the dismal numbers.

 The five slimmest states, with the percentage of population that is obese:

    Hawaii: 19 percent
    Colorado: 20.3 percent
    Montana: 23.5 percent
    California: 23.9 percent
    Massachusetts: 24 percent

The most obese states:

    Mississippi: 35.2 percent
    West Virginia: 34.3 percent
    Louisiana: 33.2 percent
    Arkansas: 33 percent
    Oklahoma: 32.6 percent