Indiana ranks poorly in obesity study

Indiana ranks poorly in obesity study

Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Indiana gets low marks when it comes to health. A new report shows that Indiana has the ninth highest obesity rate in the country.

According to the "F as in Fat" 2007 report, Hoosiers are tipping the scales in the wrong direction, noting 26 percent of adults in Indiana are obese.

"We eat too much. We eat the wrong kinds of foods and we don't exercise," said Elisha London, registered dietitian.

Dietitians say they see bad habits passed on from one generation to the next. The study shows indiana has the 15th highest rate of overweight children, with over 15 percent of kids ages 10 to 17 falling into this category.

"When your parents are obese, those eating habits like eating too fast and eating on the run, and making bad food choices really translates into the kids diets as well," said London.

Dieticians say a major problem Hoosiers face is that healthy food is more expensive, but they point out, paying more at the grocery store now may actually save you a lot more money in the long run.

"Your risk for certain conditions increases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and anytime you get any of those diseases and start medications and hospitalizations and that just causes our health care costs to rise," said London.

The Indiana State Department of Health says it takes a team effort to fight the state's obesity problem. They're now launching programs and putting their roster together.

"We work with local farmers, and the department of agriculture and local schools to launch several pilots like the school salad bar program," said Weilin Long, division director of Community Nutrition and Obesity Prevention at the Indiana State Department of Health.

Between their nutrition and exercise programs the goal is to see the slimmer side of Indiana in the next few years. While Indiana is still one of the ten most obese states, the state did improve its ranking by one since last year.