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Jun-24-2021 14:00printcomments

Rates of Obesity Increase Across Oregon

Obesity cases continue to rise, putting many Oregonians at increased risk of complications due to COVID-19.

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Photo by Andres Ayrton, Pexels

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - If you only look at obesity in the state of Oregon, it functions as a microcosm for the rest of the nation. From coast to coast, the number of obese individuals in proportion to the total population has continued to increase.

Many experts have already concluded that the United States is experiencing an obesity epidemic. This is particularly unwelcome news given that, for the better part of 2020 and 2021, the country (and the world) has been grappling with a deadly pandemic that disproportionately harms those with preexisting conditions — including those caused by obesity.

Obesity in the State of Oregon

According to the latest data, nearly 1 in 3 Oregon residents can be categorized as “obese.” This is based on the average Body Mass Index (BMI) across all adults and children in the state.

While this statistic alone is frightening, it’s even more alarming to consider how quickly the rate of obesity has risen. In 1990, just 10% of the state’s population was obese. Now, the number exceeds 30%.

However, it’s important to recognize that this is not just an issue in Oregon. More than half of all U.S. adults are overweight, with a significant portion of those individuals falling within the parameters of obesity. Nonetheless, the issue affects some states more than others.

While Oregon is not among the top obese states, it is still an issue that is affecting a large percentage of the state’s population.

This obesity epidemic is especially troubling in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Obese individuals are at higher risk of experiencing respiratory complications as a result of the virus, making the two issues put additional strain on families and the Oregon state healthcare system.

While vaccines and social distancing efforts have helped curb the spread of the Coronavirus, they have not eliminated the problem entirely.

What Can Oregonians Do?

Though the situation in Oregon looks pretty grim, it’s not completely hopeless. In fact, with the right effort on the part of individuals, organizations, and the state government, Oregon could reverse the current obesity epidemic.

It will take years to see the numbers fall, but there’s no time like the present to begin putting the health of Oregonians first.

So, what can be done? First and foremost, Oregon residents must be willing to commit to healthier behaviors — particularly diet and exercise. If you struggle to maintain a good health regimen on your own, consider getting the help of the experts at RCMC Medical Center. This way, you can take part in a weight-loss program that incentivizes you to reach your personal BMI goals.

Additionally, it’s important that the state of Oregon works to encourage healthy behaviors, like walking, biking, and eating reduced amounts of salt and sugar.

With these kinds of state-funded efforts, Oregon could quickly see reduced rates of obesity. Hopefully, the trend of increasing obesity will come to an end for Oregonians in the next few years.

Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.

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