This year’s State of Obesity report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sheds much needed light on where progress is being made and on the work that lies ahead. We underscore the urgent call to action for more effective use of resources from every level of government to ensure that health equity is achieved across our nation. The American Heart Association will continue to take a leadership role in working to make this vision a reality.
This report illustrates real progress for some states and signs of progress that most other states are holding steady in adult obesity rates. Physical inactivity rates have risen in far too many states and too many families lack access to affordable healthy foods and to places for safe physical activity. Significant concerns remain for the health of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans as well as low-income communities and people living in the South. Targeted food and beverage campaigns encourage minority communities to choose junk food over healthy foods.
Through our Voices for Healthy Kids initiative, a joint collaborative with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we advance equity-focused policy to address these disparities. We are seeing advancements in health by focusing on nutrition and physical education in every school; standards for nutrition, activity and screen time in child care facilities; building communities that are walkable; and increasing access to affordable healthy foods. States can be better equipped to support these critical issues by increasing funding through taxes on sugary drinks.
Everyone needs to move more and eat healthier.
Suzette Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org, 214-706-1214