Fighting Obesity to Manage Chronic Disease

Fighting Obesity to Manage Chronic Disease

Let’s work together to reverse our state’s growing obesity rates.

Mississippi is experiencing a public health crisis. In 1996, 19.8% of the adult population was obese. By 2019, the obesity prevalence in our population had increased to 40.8%. If the tide is not changed, the percent of obesity in our population will reach over 50% by 2024.

Obesity is a root cause of most chronic illnesses. Therefore, it is the role and obligation of public health to inform and educate Mississippians about this threat as it does when there is a threat of pandemics and epidemics. The consequences of obesity include Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, stroke, and dementia. Currently in Mississippi, 1.1 million adults and 126,000 children are obese; many of whom already show signs of chronic illnesses. Unnecessary suffering is caused by obesity, driven by sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits. According to the CDC, 75% of total health care expenditures are associated with treating chronic diseases.

If Mississippians reduce their BMI rates to lower levels and achieve an improved status of health, the state could save over $13 billion annually in unnecessary health care costs.

Work Plan

Decrease obesity rates through the reduction of food insecurities

Decrease food insecurity by reducing the number of food deserts in Mississippi

Increase the use of evidence-based diabetes prevention education programs in the state by at least 20%

Develop at least one new partnership annually that is aimed at coordinating initiatives
on obesity and diabetes prevention

Decrease obesity rates through the promotion of healthy lifestyles

Increase community-based opportunities for physical activity

Increase the percentage of students who achieve 30 minutes or more of moderate and/or vigorous intensity physical activity daily

Increase the percentage of employers who offer wellness programs or health promotion activities by 10%

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