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The State of Obesity 2014: Better Policies for a Healthier America

October 2, 2014 Comments off

The State of Obesity 2014: Better Policies for a Healthier America
Source: Trust for America’s Health

Adult obesity rates remained high overall, increased in six states (Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming) in the past year, and did not decrease in any. Rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent for the first time in two states, are at or above 30 percent in 20 states and are not below 21 percent in any.  Mississippi and West Virginia tied for having the highest adult obesity rate in the United States at 35.1 percent, while Colorado had the lowest at 21.3 percent.

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Issue Brief: As Flu Season Ramps Up, Adults 18-64 Years Old Least Likely to Get Flu Shots

January 17, 2014 Comments off

Issue Brief: As Flu Season Ramps Up, Adults 18-64 Years Old Least Likely to Get Flu Shots
Source: Trust for America’s Health

An analysis by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) found that only 35.7 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 years old got the flu shot last season (the most recent period data with available data). By comparison, 56.6 percent of children (ages 6 months to 17 years old) and 66.2 percent of seniors (ages 65 and older) were vaccinated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all American 6 months and older get vaccinated each year.

According to the CDC, the flu season in the United States is beginning to “ramp” up and flu is now widespread in 35 states. Rates are particularly high in 13 Southern and Central/Western states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah).

H1N1 is the most prevalent flu strain this season, which can disproportionately and adversely impact otherwise healthy children and young adults, according to the CDC.

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic

November 13, 2013 Comments off

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic
Source: Trust for America’s Health

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic finds that 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies to help curb prescription drug abuse. Two states, New Mexico and Vermont, got the highest score, receiving all 10 possible indicators, while South Dakota scored the lowest with two out of 10.

According to the report, prescription drug abuse has quickly become a top public health concern, as the number of drug overdose deaths – a majority of which are from prescription drugs – doubled in 29 states since 1999. The rates quadrupled in four of these states and tripled in 10 more of these states.

Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs, and currently only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment.

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic

October 11, 2013 Comments off

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic
Source: Trust for America’s Health

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic finds that 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies to help curb prescription drug abuse. Two states, New Mexico and Vermont, got the highest score, receiving all 10 possible indicators, while South Dakota scored the lowest with two out of 10.

According to the report, prescription drug abuse has quickly become a top public health concern, as the number of drug overdose deaths – a majority of which are from prescription drugs – doubled in 29 states since 1999. The rates quadrupled in four of these states and tripled in 10 more of these states.

Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs, and currently only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment.

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic, 2013

October 7, 2013 Comments off

Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic, 2013
Source: Trust for America’s Health (via Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) worked with a range of partners and experts to identify promising policies and approaches to reducing prescription drug abuse in America.

This report evaluates states on 10 key approaches to combat prescription drug abuse, based on input and review from public health, medical and law enforcement experts, and using indicators. The report also provides a review of national policy issues and recommendations.

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2013

August 23, 2013 Comments off

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2013
Source: Trust for America’s Health

After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates remained level in every state except for one, Arkansas, in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2013, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The full report is available here. Visit http://www.FasinFat.org/ for interactives, graphs, charts and obesity rates for the states and nation going back decades.

Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent, according to the report. In 1980, no state was above 15 percent; in 1991, no state was above 20 percent; in 2000, no state was above 25 percent; in 2007, only Mississippi was above 30 percent.

Since 2005, there has been some evidence that the rate of increase has been slowing. In 2005, every state but one experienced an increase in obesity rates; in 2008, rates increased in 37 states; in 2010, rates increased in 28 states; and in 2011, rates increased in 16 states.

Trust for America’s Health Releases Healthier Americans for a Healthier Economy

November 3, 2011 Comments off

Trust for America’s Health Releases Healthier Americans for a Healthier Economy
Source: Trust for America

Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) released a new report, Healthier Americans for a Healthier Economy, featuring six case studies focused on the relationship between health and economic development. The report examines how health affects the ability of states, cities and towns to attract and retain employers, and how workplace and community wellness programs help improve productivity and reduce health spending.

“High rates of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, are among the biggest drivers of U.S. health care costs and they are harming our nation’s productivity,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH, and Chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. “Workplace wellness and community prevention programs are a win-win way to make a real difference in improving our health and bottom line all at once.”

According to the report, more than half of all Americans currently live with one or more chronic disease, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. High rates of these diseases, which in many cases are preventable, are associated with increasing health care costs.

The case studies in the report feature first-hand accounts from business executives, elected officials and public health leaders in Minnesota, Texas, Nashville, Indiana, San Diego and Hernando, Mississippi, where employers and communities are making the connection between improving health and improving the economy.

+ Full Report

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