Obesity has become the most important threat to the health of Mississippians and if left unchecked will overwhelm our health-care system. Without action, what is now a ripple effect of negative health consequences will become a tidal wave of disease, disability and premature death.
We recognize the problem. We have a strategy to address it. What we need is the collective will to respond to this quiet crisis. Please join us.
The uncontrolled epidemic of obesity is wreaking havoc on our state. With one out of every three adults considered obese, Mississippi is the fattest state, and getting fatter.
But that’s just the half of it. Obesity predisposes us to a whole host of chronic diseases and it produces a ripple effect of negative health consequences: hypertension, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes and even cancer.
These conditions kill many Mississippians each year, and at a minimum, rob us of our quality of life.
An obese person generates 40 percent more in medical costs per year than a non-obese person. In 2008, Mississippi spent $925 million in health-care costs directly related to obesity. If the trend continues, obesity related health-care costs will be $3.9 billion by 2018.
Obese adults miss work more often than lean workers, impacting productivity. As a result, obesity hurts Mississippi’s business competiveness and ability to attract new industry.
Mississippi has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation. Nearly half of Mississippi children are overweight or obese. Children as young as eight years old are being treated for Type II diabetes and high cholesterol. This was unheard of just a decade ago. The idea that our children will be sicker, and die younger, than their parents is not acceptable.