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SPEAK OUT: Is Obesity a Concern in Maryland?

Data from the Center for Disease Control shows that Maryland ranks 22nd highest in obesity in the country.

Using 2011 data, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently ranked Maryland as the 22nd most obese state in the nation. 

At 28.3 percent, Maryland’s obesity rate is up just over 1 percent from the previous year.

In addition, 2009 data from the CDC showed that Prince George’s County had the third highest obesity rate among adults in the state with 33.8 percent, while Montgomery County had the lowest in the state with 18.1 percent.

According to the 2009 study, Montgomery County was the only county with an obesity rate below 20 percent. In the 2011 state rankings, no state was below 20 percent.

Colorado ranked the lowest with 20.7 percent of adults considered obese, while Mississippi was highest at 34.9 percent. 

Nationally, about 35.7 percent of adults are considered obese, meaning they have a body mass index (a number calculated using a person’s height and weight) of 30 or higher. 

A 2008 study from the CDC showed that medical costs associated with obesity totaled about $147 billion.

Do you think obesity is a problem in Maryland? What do you think about the state and counties’ rankings on the CDC? Tell us your thoughts in our poll and in the comments. 

Buck Harmon August 15, 2012 at 07:35 PM
The FDA is nothing more than a politically controlled illusion of safety with many, many shortfalls as a result of big corporate money influence at the top of the"food chain".
Deep Water August 15, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Seriously? You think it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that people are just plain eating more than they should? I suppose it's easier to blame it on faceless government and corporate entities rather than just being sensible about what--and how much--one chooses to eat.
Kathy August 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM
It is a combination--we eat too much and the food that we eat is unhealthy. I have seen studies that show that even our fresh food has only a fraction of the nutrients that it did 20 or 30 years ago, due to a lot of factors, including companies developing seeds that grown faster and cheaper, feeding animals crap instead of good grass and grain, over-farming the soil, etc. So we are eating more and getting less nutrition. Buying organic is expensive, growing our own is time-consuming (and for most people impossible), all we can do is try our best to avoid the fast food and processed food, buy organic when possible, eat less meat and more vegetables and whole grains, exercise, and hope for the best.
Buck Harmon August 16, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I'm not blaming a faceless government...just stating a few facts about where most of the food on the table really comes from. Eating too much and not getting enough exercise also add insult to injury. The government regulates the food that we eat...so a big part of the problem does come from allowing unhealthy items to hit the market.
JoeEldersburg August 17, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Kathy, as some have said, "hope is not a strategy!" The simple fact is that whether it's what goes into our food supply or the lower cost of eating unhealthy vs. healthy, it can and should be regulated better. It's not an attack on our freedoms for example, if junk food were taxed higher, so demand would be reduced or that incentives are created for manufacturers to produce healthier foods. If we are slowly killing ourselves with cheap HFCS, the fact that it's a legal substance is incosequential to the damage it's causing. To wit, mercury, lead, PCB's and red dye #2 were all legal too until they were taken out of our food supply I agree that we need better eating and exercising habits and educational levels also have been shown to have a huge influence on people's health. So let's give our less educated and less financially well off people, struggling with obesity a break by getting rid of a chemical that has no benefit but to increase the profits of food companies at the expense of our collective waistlines. The food companies can find something safer to make their food taste better that is less harmful to the public. It's really hard to argue that it's not our government's responsibility to help make this happen and to protect the public by regulating harmful chemicals like HFCS.

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