Report: Kansas obesity rate on track to reach 62 percent by 2030

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to a new report released Tuesday.

A new study forecasts the adult obesity rate in Kansas could reach 62 percent — more than double the current rate — by 2030, contributing to 367,000 new cases of Type 2 diabetes and 769,000 new cases of heart disease and stroke.

“The track that we are on is leading us down a path to even worse health and significantly higher health care costs but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things we can do now to change the future,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health.

The 124-page report “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future” was released Tuesday by Trust for American’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The country’s obesity rate has seen substantial growth since 1995 when Mississippi had the highest obesity rate with 19.4 percent. Today, every state’s obesity rate is higher than 20 percent. Mississippi’s is now 34.9 percent. Kansas has seen its rate grow from 13.5 percent in 1995 to 29.6 percent.

“It truly is a nationwide crisis,” Levi said.

For the first time, the annual report included an analysis that looked at 2030 obesity rates in each state based on current trajectory and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related diseases and costs.

In Kansas in 2030:

62.1 percent — of adults would be obese. Someone who is obese has a body mass index of 30 or greater, which would be at least 186 pounds for a 5-foot-6 woman or 215 pounds for a 5-foot-11 man.

$5.5 billion — will be spent on obesity-related health care costs, up 11 percent from today.

The report recommends spending more on prevention efforts and implementing policy changes at the national, state and local levels. Such initiatives might include increasing physical activity time in schools and ensuring farmers’ markets accept food stamps.

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” Levi said.

The report highlighted efforts across the nation that are being made to reduce obesity, among them was Seaman High School in Topeka, which has about 1,150 students. It is preparing meals with lower-calorie, lower-fat ingredients and offering fresh fruit during breakfast and lunch. It also has established Wellness Wednesdays and Fitness Fridays activities that are designed to incorporate nutrition and fitness information into the school day.

“We need to invest in obesity prevention in a way that matches the disparity of the problem. We can’t afford not to," Levi said.

To view the full report, visit

Tagged: exercise, Trust for America's Health, obesity, nutrition, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


ShePrecedes 5 years, 9 months ago

Not long ago, the American Heart Assoc. published a report that asked the food industry to stop salting foods or using sodium without compunction. Was this aspect of the report published in LJWORLD? NOPE. Was the request that eating establishments stop salting food published an any news agency? NOPE. I had to read the report to see what they really said.

SO what does that say about health reporting in the media? Perhaps the media is complicit in the state's obesity issues. I sure do think so.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 9 months ago

I have noticed that after I stopped buying salt and sugar to add to food I sure notice it when I eat certain canned and packaged food. I am overweight and eat food that tastes good like ice cream so I just can't have it around, because, for whatever reason I have no will power to resist that extra serving. True, when I was a child there was no limits placed on what I ate, how much or when. People eat like their peers, look like their peers so it is going to be very difficult to persuade someone to change diet habits when they are the only ones in their family or friends to do so. It is also all to easy to just microwave something. When you had to get out a pan and several ingrediates to make cocoa and then clean up you thought twice about it. Now you rip open a bag of cocoa put it in a mug with milk and in a minute it is done and with only one thing to wash.

tukee 5 years, 9 months ago

eat meat, not wheat.

it is bloody easy to have 10% body fat. All you have to do is eat meat, veggies, seeds - no milk and absolutely no grains. Obama wants you to eat whole grains only because monsanto gives him money under the table. Being lean is a direct assualt against obama.

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