According to the brief, which utilized CDC data in its analysis, “twenty-six of the 30 states with the highest obesity rates are in the Midwest and South.” Jeffrey Levi, TFAH’s executive director, stated in the brief, “Obesity has contributed to a stunning rise in chronic disease rates and health care costs. It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced.”
The CDC has predicted that obesity rates in the U.S. will reach up to 42 percent by 2030 and account for over half a trillion dollars in health care spending.
Health plans recognize the growing crisis of obesity, and have taken steps to promote wellness and reduce and prevent obesity. Many health plans are handling the challenge of overweight and obesity through developing toolkits for physicians, establishing telephone or web-based weight management programs, and implementing healthy eating and physical activity programs in school and worksites.
Plans also work with employers to promote wellness options through the workplace, including health risk assessments that identify at-risk individuals who may benefit from reducing their body mass index (BMI) or improving their eating habits or physical activity habits.
More AHIP resources on obesity: