State ranks low in obesity prevention

It’s a battle – a battle of the bulge. And Wisconsin appears to be losing that battle.

Or if Wisconsin isn’t losing, then it’s not gaining any ground, either.

At least that’s what researchers at the University of Baltimore had to say after conducting a nationwide assessment of obesity.

According to the University of Baltimore Obesity Initiative’s Web site, each state was given a report card based on the state’s efforts to prevent obesity.

The report also gave each state an obesity prevalence ranking. States were ranked one through 50, with a ranking of “one” indicating the highest level of obesity.

The study gave Wisconsin a “D” and an obesity prevalence ranking of 25.

Lisa Schuetz, student service program manager, said she thinks less emphasis should be placed at the state level and more at the national level.

“I think you’re going to find (obesity) everywhere,” she said. “That’s something we need to look at together – not as each state but as a country.”

Other states to receive a “D” included Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Nevada. Mississippi received an obesity prevalence ranking of one, while Colorado received a ranking of 50.

Lisa Schuetz, student service program manager, said she thinks less emphasis should be placed at the state level and more at the national level.

“I think you’re going to find (obesity) everywhere,” she said. “That’s something we need to look at together – not as each state but as a country.”

“I think we need to do more physical activity and less sitting around,” said Terry Gibbons, coach of the UW-Eau Claire. “Kids at home tend to play videogames .They have to get out and do something good for themselves.”

Freshman Nathan Flesch pointed out some of the problems with Wisconsinites’ diets. “It seems like we like our steak-and-potato meals up here,” Flesch said. Gibbons agreed. “I think our diet is probably just a little bit different from other parts of the country,” Gibbons said. “We don’t make healthy choices in our diet.”

Flesch said there is little the state can do to prevent obesity, saying individuals need to take it upon themselves to eat healthier and get in shape. “Definitely try to exercise on a regular basis,” Flesch said. “At least a couple times a week.”

Gibbons said there’s still hope for Wisconsin, saying the state can reverse the consequences of poor choices.

“We can make bad decisions our whole life . but we can correct those in one year,” he said. “To me, that’s just amazing. It only takes one year to correct those decisions, lose weight and eat healthy.”