The number of obese Hoosier adults ticked up slightly and policies to prevent obesity still lag despite growing awareness.
A third of Indiana adults are obese. An annual Trust for America’s Health report finds the state’s ranking improved from last year, but Indiana still lands 12th worst overall.
The report outlines state policies that include school nutrition or soda taxes. President and CEO John Auerbach says Indiana only meets some recommendations.
“There haven’t been the types of policy changes that effect large sections of the public that are likely to bring down these obesity rates,” says Auerbach.
Auerbach says those changes would need to come from all sectors: businesses that offer healthy incentives, better food options at restaurants and city planning that promotes physical activity.
The analysis breaks the data down by age and race. In Indiana, 42 percent of African Americans are obese compared to 32 percent of whites.
Auerbach says those rates are influenced by where Hoosiers live.
“It is often related to the conditions within the neighborhood that may be related to income,” says Auerbach.
Indiana also ranks poorly in conditions related to obesity, such as diabetes and hypertension.