What are Meridian schools doing to keep student obesity at bay?

By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Writer

It can be quite alarming to hear the statistics with obesity in the United States, but Michigan is one state to be especially worried about. From the year 1990 to 2014, the obesity rate in Michigan jumped from 13 percent of overweight people to an alarming 32.6 percent. What is most concerning about this last number is that the age group of 10 to 17 years old occupies almost half of this number. This number is 14.8 percent, which happens to almost the same number of obese people of all ages in Hawaii. This is something to notice and not ignore.

New federal map pinpoints major Michigan health risk

Capital News Service
LANSING – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 610,000 people every year – one in every four deaths – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cardiovascular disease is a common term. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACD) is not, however, and Michigan residents are dying of this malady at a significantly higher rate than the national average. Earlier this year, the CDC issued a map reporting the cause of death most distinct to each state. Michigan residents are more at risk for ACD than Floridians, but Floridians are more at risk for HIV.

Finally, obesity rates take hike downward

Capital News Service
LANSING – New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the high rate of obese adults nationally is finally steadying from an upward climb since the 1990s, and Michigan is no exception. The portion of Michigan adults estimated to be obese in 2014 was 30.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2010. Sanilac, Saginaw and Chippewa counties are the most obese, while Ottawa, Washtenaw and Oakland are the least, according to the CDC. “Our most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, compiled earlier this year, identifies obesity as a significant health issue for the area we serve surrounding Ludington,” said Bill Kerans, marketing coordinator of Spectrum Health Medical Group in Ludington. “Two thirds – 67.6 percent – of adults in our service area are considered overweight (33.5 percent) or obese (34.1 percent) based on their BMI.

Higher insurance costs, weight loss programs loom for overweight workers

Capital News Service
LANSING – Obese Michigan employees can expect higher insurance premiums and thus more incentive to join weight loss programs when the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare, is fully effective in 2014. Department of Community Health public information officer Angela Minicuci said two-thirds of Michigan adults struggle with their weight. Of those, about 31 percent are obese. Obesity is medically defined by body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or more is classified as obese.

Grant to aid fight against obesity

Capital News Service
LANSING – The state and higher education institutions are expanding a new model that bridges communications among health professions in the fight against obesity. The Department of Community Health received a three-year, $1.5 million grant to build an innovative state model in inter-professional collaborative practice. It is the first time that Grand Valley State University’s West Michigan Inter-professional Education Initiative Model will be put in a clinic setting since it become active in 2008. It is also the first time that the model has been used outside West Michigan. The model will be piloted in two urban nurse-managed primary care facilities at Grand Valley and Wayne State University, focusing on child and adult obese populations and affecting a minimum of 175 overweight or obese patients.

Dementia upswing linked to obesity rate, side effects

Capital News Service
LANSING – The number of Michigan residents with dementia is on the rise and the state’s increasing obesity rate could be linked. Studies show that obesity in mid-life is among many risk factors for developing dementia later in life, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of Michigan residents with dementia increased 6 percent, according to the department. The numbers are expected to increase. In 2000, the Michigan obesity rate was 20 to 24 percent of adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.