Sedgwick County Continues Obesity Battle

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sedgwick County Health Department officials presented the findings of the 2012 Data Book today.

The latest data showed that nearly two thirds of Sedgwick County adults are either overweight or obese. The numbers showed 35.8% of adults in the county are overweight, with a BMI of 25-29.9. Obese adults accounted for 28.2%, with a BMI of 20-99.8.

"We would love to see the trend reversed. We would like to be making more progress. Of course, the data is a little bit old. It's 2012. We're looking at 2009 data," said Claudia Blackburn, director for the Sedgwick County Health Department.

The data also showed that 28.8% of Kansans are obese. In the United States, 26.9% of adults are obese.

"We are making some progress through the Health & Wellness Coalition and through some of our programs. But we are on par with the rest of the nation, in terms of not having a magic bullet for this," said Blackburn.

Although the data did not show a reverse in the trend, people who are encouraging physical activity said the change will take time.

"To correct an issue or to change an issue, it's going to take twice as many years to improve that. But our community is in a great place because we've been working on the built environment, so that we can support those who make the change, so that they can live a healthy lifestyle," said Mim McKenzie, director of the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita.

The Coalition has initiated several projects that encourage more physical activity, like bike or walk to work.

"We also have to make sure that we're changing the lives for our children. They're the ones that are going to change those statistics," said McKenzie.

The Coalition will have a public presentation of their "Healthy Wichita Perception Survey" on June 29 at 8:30 a.m. at Hotel Old Town. The 2011 results will compare to the 2008 survey to identify improvements and trends.

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