New Mexico adult obesity rate stabilizes
New report indicates prevention efforts making a difference
Santa Fe, NM — Awareness and prevention efforts in the fight against obesity in New Mexico appear to be starting to yield positive results.
A report released today from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013, shows the number of obese adults in New Mexico is stabilizing.
"Stabilization is the first step in the fight against obesity,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Obesity is a serious disease in adults and in children and everyone is going to have to continue working hard to reverse it. "
The news comes days after a separate report was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing New Mexico is one of 19 states and U.S. territories to experience a decline in obesity rates among preschool children from low-income families.
New Mexico’s adult obesity rate remains a challenge. The F as in Fat report scores state’s obesity rates from highest to lowest. New Mexico’s rate in 2012 is 27.1 percent – making New Mexico the 30th most obese state in the nation. By comparison, Texas ranks 19th most obese at 29.2 percent and Arizona is 35th at 26 percent. Colorado is the least obese in the United States. Its rate is 20.5 percent.
The report includes a growing set of strategies that have improved health that include:
• All food in schools must be healthy;
• Kids and adults should have access to more opportunities to be physically active on a regular basis;
• America’s transportation plans should encourage walking and biking; and
• Everyone should be able to purchase healthy, affordable foods close to home.
“All of those strategies have been implemented by our Healthy Kids New Mexico program. The program started in Las Cruces years ago with those proven strategies and now we are starting to reap rewards statewide,” said Secretary Ward. “Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking a lot of water and getting physical activity can help prevent obesity.”
Healthy Kids is a Department of Health initiative in 10 counties and 4 tribal communites working to make changes where children live, play and learn so it’s easier for them and their families to choose healthy foods and be active.
The full report with state rankings in all categories and interactive maps are available at fasinfat.org. For more information on the New Mexico Department of Health log onto nmhealth.org