Butler County follows Ohio’s high obesity rate
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 03:09
A recent report predicts that Ohio’s obesity rate will climb to 59.8 percent by the year 2030. Accompanying Ohio are 39 other states that are projected to go down a similar path.
The report that gathered these statistics, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, was released earlier this month by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
Butler County is no exception to the trend, with 34 percent of its residents classified overweight in 2008, a statistic that has stayed constant through January 2012.
Heart disease, which can result in heart attacks, strokes, angina and arteriosclerosis, is the second leading cause of death in Butler County, with 26.6 percent of the states’ residents also diagnosed with high blood pressure, according to the Healthy Ohio Community Profile: Butler County, by The Ohio Department of Health.
Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer are all correlated with obesity, according to Dr. Gregory Calkins, medical director of the Student Health Center at Miami University. Miami is a health conscious environment and Calkins said the campus is a positive influence on the citizens of Oxford.
Junior Olivia Magnotta said she finds it is strange that Butler County has an obesity issue when Miami seems to have just the opposite.
“It’s definitely ironic that we’re one of the most active campuses nationwide located in the middle of great amounts of obesity,” she said. “But then again, Miami is also kind of like its own world in the middle of these cornfields.”
Calkins said diet choice can be a leading cause of obesity.
“High carbohydrate and high sugar foods are probably, in my opinion, worse than fatty foods to some extent, but the two go together,” Calkins said.
He said that the general public tends to emphasize high carbohydrates in our diets, which can lead to problems.
Amongst all this obesity, fast food businesses and restaurants are becoming more widely used.
“I live uptown,” senior, Maggie Striebech said, “so it’s nice to pick something up quick on my way home when I don’t feel like cooking.”
Obesity has many long-term affects, according to Calkins.
“Unfortunately these things compound themselves, as you become obese, you sleep more, which can lead to sleep apnea,” Calkins said. “[Obesity] can lead to further health problems and it’s hard to break the cycle.”
Decreasing cases of obesity can also affect our health care system. According to Calkins, the most expensive health care treatment is for chronic degenerative diseases, like diabetes.
“A lot of our health care isn’t toward acute treatments or emergency procedures and [decreasing obesity] would make a huge impact,” he said.
Calkins shared his advice to a healthier lifestyle.
“Eat right, keep moving and stay young at heart.”