A recent report shows Colorado on track to more than double its obesity rate within 20 years. That could mean billions of dollars more in health care costs unless the trend begins to reverse. Aspen Public Radio‘s Luke Runyon reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

One out of every five adults in Colorado is obese now. Which doesn’t sound great, but still gives the state the bragging right as the leanest in the country.

“To put it in perspective though, even that rate, which is the lowest in the country, would¿ve been the highest in country just 20 years ago.”

Rich Hamburg is with the advocacy group Trust for America’s Health, which compiled the report. He says even though Colorado is doing better compared to other states, it’s on a trajectory to more than double the percentage of obese people by 2030, pushing Colorado closer to the pack of more obese states.

“Colorado’s rate seems to be rising a bit faster. That might be a factor coming from being the lowest possible rate.”

Hamburg says just a slight dip in body fat across the population could save more than 10 billion dollars in health care costs down the line.

State and federal officials have yet to find a singular solution to the crisis. The Colorado Health Institute’s Sara Shmitt says to reverse the trend, there’s been a large emphasis on children and schools.

“Because we do know that children that are overweight or obese are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults.”

Shmitt says some programs have shown success. Changes to school lunch menus have slowed weight gain in certain schools, and increased access to walking and biking trails has done the same in neighborhoods.

 

Comments are closed.

News

NPR
June 28, 2016 | NPR · A public health campaign to sell Africans on the virtues of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes — bred for higher Vitamin A levels — has helped combat malnutrition on the continent.
 

Mario Tama/Getty Images
June 28, 2016 | NPR · Scientists are making impressive progress in creating a vaccine for Zika. And they’re using a new technology that makes vaccine development faster than ever.
 

Getty Images
June 28, 2016 | NPR · The NPR Politics team looks at Donald Trump’s claims about globalization and trade.
 

Arts & Life

June 28, 2016 | NPR · It seems everyone has one: the eccentric relative much gossiped about. For Walter Shapiro, it’s his great-uncle, Freeman Bernstein. The vaudeville manager, boxing promoter, card shark and stock swindler managed to scam the Third Reich. Shapiro writes about this in his new book, Hustling Hitler.
 

June 28, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Stuart Stevens, a former strategist for Mitt Romney, whose new novel, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear, tells the story of a neck-and-neck Republican primary campaign that ends up at a brokered convention.
 

June 28, 2016 | FA · Herr’s 1977 book, Dispatches, was based on his time covering the Vietnam War. He also contributed to the films Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Herr died last week. Originally broadcast in 1990.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
June 28, 2016 | NPR · Banning Eyre reviews two albums from artists who are reinventing classic sounds from Puerto Rico: iLe’s iLevitable and Miramar’s Dedication to Sylvia Rexach.
 

Folk Alley
June 28, 2016 | FolkAlley · Hear the rising young Appalachian singer-songwriter perform live from the Adirondack Mountains.
 

NPR
June 28, 2016 | NPR · In performance together, the venerated saxophonist and the ubiquitous pianist perform three tunes that draw from their past while still looking to the future.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab