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Obesity Levels Rising; Colorado Stays Lean!

by Sharon Gayle May 25, 2011

Obesity Estimated to Increase to 42.80% in 2018

Sadly, even with the abundance of health and wellness information available to the public, the latest stats indicate that obesity levels in America continue to rise. As the numbers increase, so do the chronic physical and mental illnesses; which are often synonymous with Obesity.

Calorie Lab’s 2010 State-by-State Rankings breaks down the numbers and provides statistics on just how much Obesity has increased in 2010.  Colorado continues to rank as the leanest state while Mississippi remains the fattest for the 5th year in a row.


Courtesy of Reuters/Toby Melville

While many industrialized countries have experienced similar increases, Obesity in the United States are among st the highest in the world.(ref.1) Estimates have steadily increased from 19.4% in 1997, 24.5%, 2004 (ref.2) to 26.6% 2007 (ref.3) An ABC Report cites that “Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as health, especially for women…


An estimated sixteen percent of active duty U.S. military personnel were found to be obese in 2004, with the cost of remedial bariatric surgery for the military reaching $15 million in 2002.  Obesity is currently the largest single cause for the discharge of uniformed personnel.(ref.4)

In 2005, 9 million adults of ages 17 to 24, or 27%, were too overweight to be considered for service in the military.(ref.5)

Image Courtesy of Calorie Lab


Obesity in an adult is defined as:  a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more.

Overweight is defined as
:  a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 and 30.


Based upon data collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the prevalence of obesity in the United States is estimated to increase from the current level of 31.30% obese to 42.80% obese in 2018.


There are schools of thought, which believe that “Not being able to sustain big lifestyle changes that experts tell them they need for weight loss”, is one of the causes for failure to address obesity; with "sustainability" being the core of the problem. Another reason given for the continued downward spiral of American health is said to be “too many options can often make decision make difficult”.  With less choices we often make quicker, more spontaneous, decisions and feel confident that we have made the right one. Too many choices often creates confusion, which has been found to lead an individual to not make any changes.

Too much information can lead to indecision.

I agree that with an overabundance of health and fitness publications, cable TV. programs, and fitness websites/videos encouraging "fitness their way"; the information can be a little daunting and may create indecisiveness.  Nevertheless, deciding to live healthy, and to pursue a balanced lifestyle is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It impacts your entire future and dictates your longevity! 

To be sure that you are on the right track:

  • First and foremost, speak with your Doctor regarding your general health
  • Find out how, or what you might do to improve your general health, and well-being
  • If your Doctor recommends that you [implement] a fitness, nutritional, or wellness program; ask she or he to provide the name of a professional with the specific expertise
  • Meet with this Professional and follow the program they prepare for you

Have patience and trust that they know what they are doing.  But most importantly, believe in yourself and envision a better you!  If you believe you can achieve your goals …you’re halfway there.


A simply change such as walking up and down the escalators during your commute, rather than allowing the escalators to take you for a ride, can mean burning 100 – 300 calories per day (dependent upon your current level of fitness).  Another change to consider… When at the office and going less than 6-flights up or down to another floor; CHOOSE TO WALK using the interior stairwells; rather than taking the elevator. 

Taking the stairs at the office can make a world of difference.

Not only will you begin burning significant calories; your legs will gradually become stronger showing increased tone due to the weight-bearing muscle activation, which takes place as you go up and down the stairs. Additionally, your Gluteus Maximus (buttocks) will also respond to each step you take, becoming tighter and more lifted over time.

You’ll be happy to find that within weeks, your body and legs will adjust to the change of movement and intensity, and you’ll be proud of yourself for trying. 

The suggestion above and other very simple changes to your daily routine, can bring about significant positive change; which are all part and parcel of leading a healthy lifestyle! ~SG.


Reference 1. [^ World's Fattest Countries - Forbes.com - http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/07/worlds-fattest-countries-forbeslife-cx_ls_0208worldfat_2.html)
Reference 2. [^ (PDF) Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the 2004 National Health Interview Survey, CDC NCHS, 2005-06-21,
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/200506_06.pdf, retrieved 2008-03-15] to 26.6% 2007
Reference 3. [^ (PDF) Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January–June 2007 National Health Interview Survey (12/2007), CDC NCHS, 2007-11-19,
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/200712_06.pdf, retrieved 2008-03-15]
Reference 4. ^ Basu, Sandra (2004-03-25). "Military Not Immune From Obesity Epidemic". U.S. Medicine.
http://www.usmedicine.com/dailyNews.cfm?dailyID=187. Retrieved 2008-03-08. [dead link]
Reference 5. ^ Shalikashvili, John M. (30 April 2010). "The new national security threat:obesity". Washington, DC: Washington Post. pp. A19.


Gluteus Maximus (Buttocks) - definition