Public health takes on obesity: A route to better health (Text Version)

We have a growing problem

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Obesity has nearly tripled among kids and teens over the past 30 years.
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One in three U.S. kids ages 2–19 is overweight or obese.
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In 1980, the obesity rate for adults was 15%. Today, that rate has more-than doubled to 35%.
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The burdens of obesity

112,000 = The number of obesity-related deaths each year
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Children who are obese are more than twice as likely to die before age 55 as children with a healthy weight.

Direct costs = $152 billion spent on medical care per year

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Indirect costs = value of lost productivity + insurance premium and compensation + absence from work = $73 billion

There is hope…

For the first time in recent years, obesity rates have declined

Public health is in your community

Public health improves food choices and creates opportunities for physical activity, helping to curb obesity.

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Violence in neighborhoods and fear for safety keeps many kids indoors and decreases opportunities for physical activity.

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Safe Streets Baltimore helped make streets safer:

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  • 56% Reduction in homicides

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  • 34% Reduction in nonfatal shootings

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Healthier food options lead to better nutrition

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  • More than 5 million kids in the U.S. received nutritious food in one year, thanks to farm-to-school programs.

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  • U.S. breastfed infants were 13-22% less likely to be obese than formula-fed infants.

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  • Kids participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program eat 1/3 cup more fruits and veggies than other kids.

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The built environment provides options for physical activity

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  • Kids who live closer to parks are more active and have much healthier weight later in life than those who live farther away.

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Safe Routes to Schools in California helped increase the number of children walking or biking to school by 15%.

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  • Funded in part by Community Transformation Grants through the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

To have a healthier nation, we must continue to fund public health programs

Public health funding, including the prevention fund, will be on the chopping block year after year if we don’t find a better solution to deficit reduction.  
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  • 38% was cut from the prevention fund in 2013.

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  • To keep winning the fight against obesity, we must continue to fund public health programs.