Last updated: August 02. 2014 11:30PM - 419 Views
By Lethia Lee Contributing columnist

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State County nutrition, Physical Activity and obesity profile. Obesity has important consequences on our nations health economy. It is linked to a number of chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. Among adults, the medical costs associated with obesity are estimated at 147 billion dollars (Finkelstein, 2009). Many American communities are characterized by unhealthy options when it comes to diet and physical activity. We need public health approaches that make healthy options available, accessible, and affordable for all Americans. One of North Carolina’s responses to obesity is the Eat Smart Move More Weigh Less Program. It promotes increased opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity wherever people live, learn, earn, play and pray.

State population in 2010 was 9,535,483. Adults age 18 and over made up 76.1 percent of the total population - youth under 18 made up 23.9 percent of the total population. Of that, 64.9percent were overweight, with a body mass index of 25 or greater, and 27.8 percent were obese, with a body mass index of 30 or greater. Among North Carolina’s children aged 2 years to less than 5 years, 16.2percent were overweight and 15.5 were obese. That should give us some idea of what we need to be doing. Some things need to change especially with our children. We need to stop this trend of obesity in our children before it affects their health. We say our children are our future we need to put more into those words.

For insight on this topic or to get help with changing your nutritional behavior we have lots of topics that can help you. I would be glad to come into your establishment and bring more positive ways for healthy eating to occur.

For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.

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