Why Focus on Healthy Eating and Active Living?
Approximately 66% of adults in the United States are overweight, with almost 30% categorized as obese. Of particular concern is the percentage of children and adolescents who are obese. The CDC estimates that 1 out of 3 children are overweight or obese, with 17% categorized as obese. Southern states tend to see a greater percentage of overweight or obese adults than other states throughout the nation.
More than 67% of SC adults are overweight or obese(SC BRFSS). Alarmingly, 66% of Berkeley county adults are either overweight or obese (25% report no exercise and 80% report eating few fruits and vegetables) as are 60% of Charleston County adults (21% report no exercise and 74% report eating few fruits and vegetables). Just over 70% of Dorchester County adults are either overweight or obese (21% report no exercise and 74% report eating few fruits and vegetables) (SC BRFSS).
Moreover, data collected in 2017 through the CDC-administered Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) show that in South Carolina, nearly 30% of high-school students were either overweight or obese and, while valid childhood obesity are not systematically collected for middle- or elementary-school-aged youth, case report and case series data suggest that rates are equally high for younger children, if not higher. Overweight and obesity are the result of an imbalance between energy input (caloric intake) and energy output (caloric expenditure); however this is a complex relationship and many factors, particularly those within obesogenic environments, interact to markedly increase overweight and obesity risk as well as co-morbid diseases and conditions including heart diseases and stroke.
The South Carolina Department of Health & Environment Control reports show that of South Carolina high school students: (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, YRBS, 2017)
- 16.5% are overweight
- 16.5% are obese
- 17.2% ate the recommended five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day
- 78.3% do not meet current physical activity recommendations.
South Carolina’s youngest children are also impacted. Over 25% of low income children ages two through five are overweight or obese.