A new report offers a prediction of dramatic increases in obesity across the United States, and especially in Alabama. According to “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012,” released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, the current path of rising obesity rates puts our state on course to almost double the number of obese adults — from 32 percent of our population in 2011 to 62.6 percent in 2030.
Those are scary numbers for many reasons, especially the projected impact on the rates of diseases related to obesity, such as diabetes, stroke, high-blood pressure and arthritis, as well as high health care costs and diminished quality of life. And there’s no comfort in the fact that Alabama is not alone in facing this threat.
Fortunately for the people who live, work and play in Jefferson County, the Health Action Partnership keeps moving ahead with important efforts to improve child wellness, healthy food access and the environment that encourages active living. For the Community Foundation and other HAP members, this report provides extra ammunition in the fight to make healthy choices easier.
Thanks to the work of strong local organizations using local and national dollars (including Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s own Healthy Kids Healthy Communities initiative), we are making progress. We can and will do more, knowing that if we falter, the future set out in this report can become an overwhelming reality.
To find out more about the work of the Community Foundation as an anchor organization of HAP, contact Gus Heard-Hughes. Or go to healthactionpartners.org to learn more about current efforts to fight obesity and tobacco use in Jefferson County and how you can join us.