- October 06, 2020
According to the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) annual report, The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2020, 30.6% of Nevada adults, ages 18-65, were obese [having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more] in 2019 – a 4% increase compared to the previous year. The report also indicates while obesity among high school students decreased by 12%, rates of overweight students in this same population increased by 17% in 2019 compared to 2017.
The TFAH report provides a comprehensive summary of national overweight and obesity data and policy recommendations to address the obesity epidemic. This year, the report includes a special feature on the relationship between obesity and food insecurity. Food insecurity and other social determinants of health contribute to negative health outcomes, lower quality diets, higher health care costs, and are connected to higher obesity rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented increase in food insecurity and need for nutrition services in Nevada and nationally. According to Feeding America, Nevada is projected to rank eighth nationally regarding rates of projected food insecurity in 2020 versus 2018, with an overall increase of about 56%.
To enhance availability of nutritious food and nutrition education programming statewide, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) created the cross-departmental Nutrition Unit in 2016. Nutrition Unit programs work with diverse partners to address obesity, including implementation of the Nevada Early Childhood Obesity Prevention State Plan. The Nutrition Unit continues to monitor trends in childhood and adult obesity through national data systems and reports, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), the TFAH, and through Nevada student height and weight collection for BMI analysis, to better understand disparities and inform programmatic strategies and initiatives to combat obesity in Nevada.
The TFAH 2020 report can be found here: https://www.tfah.org/report-details/state-of-obesity-2020/.
For information on obesity prevention and control initiatives and food assistance programs go to: http://dpbh.nv.gov.