Iowa makes ‘heaviest’ jump in obesity rankings in a decade

Des Moines, Iowa – As you’re formulating New Year’s resolutions, a year-end report from Iowa’s top public health official finds obesity among adult Iowans spiked in the past year, putting the state among the worst four states for obesity rates.

Gerd Clabaugh, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, says in recent years, it seemed like adult obesity rates were beginning to level off.


However, the adult obesity rate jumped from 32-percent in 2016 to over 36-percent in 2017, the steepest increase in over a decade. It’s a very unfortunate trend, he says, as obesity can lead to a host of other health troubles.

Clabaugh says they’re working to formulate a plan.


Reports show obesity is a problem in virtually every town in Iowa and every income and social sector. Obesity drives an estimated $149 billion annually in health care spending, and another $66 billion in lowered economic productivity. Also, one in three young adults is ineligible for military service, due to being overweight, posing a national security vulnerability.


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