Obesity

WVU Photo/ Raymond Thompson Jr.

West Virginians from across the state may have an easier time getting active, thanks to a new project from West Virginia University that aims to increase or improve pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure.

Thirteen projects across the state are receiving grants of up to $5,000 from the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sports Science project, The Center for ActiveWV. The initiative launched in 2019 and aims to combat the state’s obesity epidemic through increased access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities, according to a press release. 

The House of Delegates considered amendments to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – all day, and they’ve continued their work into the evening. We break down the day’s proceedings, and we have a discussion with the Senate Health Committee over several healthcare bills that are moving through the legislative process.

Williamson, W.Va., seen across the border from Kentucky.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

If you want to understand why U.S. life expectancy is declining, West Virginia is a good place to start.

The state is a bellwether of bad health, portending major problems years before they became severe nationally.

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Despite improved state policies to prevent obesity, adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in seven states, according to a new analysis. West Virginia ranks number one for obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

In the annual Robert Wood Johnson State of Obesity report, researchers found West Virginia's adult obesity rate is currently about 38 percent, up from around 24 percent in 2000 and approximately 14 percent in 1990. The current rate is fairly stable from last year’s data.

CDC

The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S. A new study explores the economic cost of treating diseases associated with obesity.


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A new study published this month in The Journal of Pain found that as little as a 10 percent reduction in body weight helps obese pain patients reduce chronic pain.

Several previous studies have shown that people who are obese tend to have higher levels of pain.

But pain related to obesity is usually associated with joint and weight-bearing body parts such as knees, hips and lower back.

The new study found that reducing body weight in obese patients can help improve not only joint pain but also abdominal, arm, chest and jaw pain.

Ken Bennett / Wake Forest University

A new study finds weight training might be better than cardio for older adults who are trying to slim down.

Researchers at Wake Forest University found that for adults in their 60s, combining weight training with a low-calorie diet better preserves necessary lean muscle mass that can often be lost through aerobic workouts.

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Five states, including West Virginia, have adult obesity rates above 35%, according to the 2016 State of Obesity Report. American’s waistlines have been steadily increasing since data collection began in 1990, but the problem is particularly acute in the Southeast and Midwest.

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Weight gain, even among those who aren’t overweight, can causes dangerous changes to the heart, new research from the University of Texas Medical Center has found.

Researchers found that as little as a five percent increase in weight – or 6.5 pounds for a 130-pound woman, 7.5 pounds for a 150-pound man – can result in the heart getting bigger and thicker, which makes it harder for the heart to work efficiently. Thicker heart walls also reduced the amount of space the heart has to pump out blood. Thicker hearts can lead to heart failure.

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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have tried to figure out why patients with diabetes have higher rates of hospitalization and readmission than the rest of the population and what can be done to prevent it.  

Medals, Medallions, Harpers Ferry
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a group based in Jefferson County, West Virginia focused not only on improving health and wellness but also on incorporating the local community and history into that health experience.

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If you are overweight and struggling with pain, eating a Mediterranean diet could help, a new study suggests. 

Researchers at Ohio State University looked at the relationship between weight, inflammation and pain. They found that eating anti-inflammatory foods, including seafood, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, helped relieve pain, regardless of how heavy someone was. 

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If you are an early riser, you may have a leg up on fighting weight gain and obesity. New research published this month in the journal Obesity found that as a group, “morning type” people eat earlier in the day and are choosing healthier foods overall than “evening type” people. For reference – morning types are those who are most alert and energetic in the morning while evening types are most alert and energetic later in the day. Other studies have found that eating earlier in the day is associated with weight loss and a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.

 

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Most Americans say they want to die at home when the time comes. But a new study suggests that the more obese someone is, the less likely they are to achieve that goal.

The study was published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine and looked at the records of more than 5,600 senior citizens taking part in a long-term health study. The researchers looked at how body mass index – a measure of obesity – impacted use of and access to end-of-life services like hospice. hospice provides support to people in their final months of life – usually in their own home.

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A new study has found that couples in which both partners are obese may take more than 50 percent longer to become pregnant than couples who aren't obese.

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More than 160 health leaders met in Charleston today to talk about public health concerns and current efforts to improve health outcomes for West Virginians.

The conference sessions covered topics from childhood obesity and trauma, to the housing crisis and aging population. Presenters talked about where West Virginia can improve – for instance ensuring that children have access to healthy food and safe places to exercise. They also discussed new initiatives that show some promise, such as senior housing cooperatives.

How to be Mindful About What You Eat

Nov 28, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, from our partners at the Ohio Valley Resource, a story about what’s being called “mindful eating.” It’s a new way of thinking about food.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

obesity
kwanchaichaiudom / Dollar Photo Club

Obesity rates among West Virginia children in low-income families have increased by 2 percent from 2010 to 2014.

West Virginia's obesity rate among young children from low-income families increased from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 16.4 percent in 2014, according to the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

What happens to a community as coal jobs go away? Here are some things you might expect: many people leave, schools empty, local businesses struggle to keep their lights on. But here’s something that may not come to mind: extra curricular sports go away.

That’s what happened to children in McDowell County over 25 years ago. They lost their local soccer league. And while the thousands of lost coal jobs may not come back, thanks to a 4-H project, and about a dozen volunteers, soccer is making a comeback in McDowell County.

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Almost 36 percent of adults in West Virginia are obese, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. West Virginia’s obesity rates are surpassed only by Louisiana while Colorado has the lowest percent nationwide.

obesity
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  New government data shows that in most states, the rate of adult obesity is not moving.

Results from a telephone survey show obesity rates stayed about the same in 45 states last year. There were small increases in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah.

Is Huntington Getting Healthier?

Aug 9, 2015
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Seven years ago, an Associated Press article labeled the city of Huntington, West Virginia the unhealthiest in the nation.

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According to the latest data, West Virginia's adult obesity rate is tied with Mississippi for the highest in the country at 35.1%.  Colorado has the lowest rate at 21.3 percent.

The annual report is produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health.

In addition to being the most obese state, West Virginia is also the state with the highest percentage of people who do not exercise.

Among high schoolers,  West Virginia ranks sixth, with 13 percent of those students obese.

A competition on Concord University’s campus sprang folks into walking more than 42-million steps … the equivalent of going across the United States almost 6 ½ times.  The Spring Wellness Walking Challenge was organized by students, faculty and staff as a way to encourage more activity and better wellness on campus.

Huntington Groups Taking Fitness to the Next Level

Mar 20, 2014

Exercise advocates in the Huntington area are hoping to take advantage of the popularity of health related events this summer.

  Several groups in Huntington have decided the next step in the area’s continued focus on health consciousness should be the designation of a summer day to celebrate fitness.

So the United Way, Huntington YMCA, Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, the City of Huntington and the Cabell County Commission have worked together to create the first United Day of Fitness – scheduled in June.  

Gallup

From 2010 to 2012 West Virginia was ranked the most obese state in the country according to Gallup’s Well Being State of the States report.

This year Mississippi bumped West Virginia out of the bottom.

The report says Mississippi’s obesity rate is 35 point four percent, while West Virginia’s is 34.4.  The national rate is 27.1 percent, which is 1.6 percentage points higher than the year before.

How will Huntington fight childhood obesity?

Oct 22, 2013
Clark Davis

The Huntington YMCA is leading the charge in one area of the battle with obesity that has been ignored in the Huntington area, childhood obesity.

  The Huntington YMCA along with Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Cabell County Schools has developed a program called kids in motion. The new partnership will lead the brand new Kid Fit program that the YMCA and hospital officials hope is the next step in the fight against childhood obesity in the city.

West Virginia Morning - October 4, 2013

Oct 4, 2013

On this West Virginia Morning, Clark Davis brings a story of obesity and research that is changing how we look at it. Plus, bass fishers are shut down? Those stories and more.