Anti-obesity initiatives ineffective
Despite government initiatives to rein in America’s weight problem, the nation’s obesity rate has jumped from 12 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 2005. And now , a report from the University of Missouri suggests that the money states have been spending to promote better health habits has been largely ineffective.
The researchers on this project looked at the impact of per capita health care expenditures, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity rates on obesity rates at the state level. The results showed that higher fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity directly correlated to lower rates of obesity. But , higher obesity rates were also linked to higher smoking rates, among other factors.
The study’s authors said that their findings show that governmental programs must work toward solving many social problems at once, since they are often interrelated. They recommend that policy makers address the problem many urban areas face regarding food deserts, which make it difficult for low-income families to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables. They also believe additional nutritional information should be provided on foods in grocery stores and restaurants, and that employers can help by providing free or reduced gym memberships to employees.