Our Contributions: Statewide Obesity Planning Initiative
Sunflower Foundation > Who We Are > Our Contributions: Statewide Obesity Planning Initiative
In 2002, the Sunflower Foundation funded the state’s first convening aimed at charting a plan for addressing the growing obesity epidemic. The convening began work on a state plan to address underlying factors related to obesity.
Since then the state of Kansas has begun semi-annual summits on obesity, to address this growing health issue in the state. Among the statistics surround this issue are:
Fewer than 10 percent of Kansans were obese in 1985. A report released in 2013 indicates that 29.6 percent of Kansans were obese in 2011.
The colors on this CDC map indicate the percentage of people medically designated as obese, or with a Body Mass Index of 30 or greater, from 1985 to 2010. Generally speaking, higher body mass indeces are associated with other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and hypertension.
The report's authors said obesity is the leading cause in the U.S. of preventable death:
"Obesity is one of the greatest health threats currently facing the United States. It contributes significantly to a variety of serious diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, as well as poor general health."
While obesity rates nationally have been leveling off, the percentage of obese Kansans could double in the next 15 years or so, according to the report.