The rate of obesity in Iowa is on the decline. New numbers suggest, however, many Iowans still struggle with weight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting the obesity rate in Iowa for 2016 is at 32 percent. That’s down a tick from 32.1 the previous year. A community health consultant with the Iowa Department of Public Health, Erin Olson, is encouraged by the downward movement but says there’s still concern.
“We still have a large proportion of adults who are overweight or obese," she says. "While we have a good trend, it doesn’t mean we can stop the work.”
Olson says health officials will continue education efforts to reach all Iowans about the health risks of obesity.
“From our very young in early care, our workplaces, our communities, and really try to focus on changing the environment and policy around physical activity and nutrition,” she says.
Iowa is tied with Nebraska for 13th on the list of the highest adult obesity rates. The highest average prevalence of obesity is in southern states with the Midwest close behind.