The Obesity Epidemic in Connecticut

Essay by xnightowlxCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2014

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The Obesity Epidemic in Connecticut

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an inordinate increase in overweight and obesity in Connecticut and across the country over the past twenty years. It is no wonder why upwards of 300,000 Americans die of obesity-related illnesses each year, over 3,000 of them being Connecticut residents. In attempt to cease the overweight and obesity epidemic in Connecticut, a number of local, state, and federal programs and policies have been established to address such health concerns. There is no single solution to this ever-growing problem; therefore, each state must come to terms with the various factors and policies that contribute to obesity and weight gain. In particular, Connecticut is on the right track to becoming an even healthier state.

Overweight and obesity is calculated based on a scale called body mass index (BMI). Calculating BMI is quite simple and requires only two measurements, height and weight.

Adults with a BMI above 18.5 but less than 25 are considered normal weight. Those with a BMI ranging from 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese. Though they do not calculate the percentage of body fat, BMI charts and calculators are among the widely used tools used to identify weight issues and can be found on various websites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for Connecticut in 2008, the rate of overweight and obesity combined for adults is an estimated 59.7%, similar to national levels of 63.2%. In regard to obesity alone, Connecticut the second leanest state in the country with a rating of approximately 21.4%. Although this figure is relatively fair, it is also quite troubling, for the elderly,