TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages Kansans to adopt active living and healthy eating habits in response to an adult obesity report today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The 2019 report shows that more than one-third of Kansas adults ages 18 and older are obese, or 35.2 percent. This is up slightly from 34.4 percent in 2018.
KDHE understands that while individuals can take steps to improve their health, there are environmental and system changes that can be made to also encourage population-level change. KDHE provides funding and guidance to the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction community grantees that have chosen to address reducing obesity through policy, system and environmental strategies. Projects include adopting and implementing healthy community design principles that support residents in walking or biking places, providing access to healthy foods and expanding farmer’s markets.
“Obesity can put you at risk for health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. It can also increase your risk of complications if you do have COVID-19,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said, “As we navigate this pandemic, it’s imperative that we all take preventative actions where we can to mitigate this virus’ impact. Simple things like taking a walk, going for a bicycle ride, adjusting our diet can make a big difference in our overall health.”
Kansans can also do the following to improve their health:
• Get adequate sleep
• Drink more water
• Eat more vegetables
• Find healthy ways to cope with stress
• Get outdoors while the weather is still good!
• Use fitness apps or videos
“Addressing obesity requires both personal and community action,” Dr. Norman said. “It takes all of us working together to make a difference.”
More information on specific initiatives can be found atwww.kdheks.gov/bhp/pan/index.htm.