Nevada’s obesity rate 37th in the nation

Despite endless opportunities to chow down at buffets and fast-food restaurants, Nevadans aren’t the fattest in the land.

Mississippians — and most Southerners — have that distinction.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t shed a few pounds.

As with most Americans, the waistlines of Nevadans are slowly but steadily increasing. With that fat comes an increase in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, common medical conditions linked to being overweight or obese, according to a new report by Trust For America’s Health.

"The numbers I just heard is that two-thirds of our adult population, nationally, is overweight,” said Sen. Valerie Wiener, D-Las Vegas, who returned Monday morning from a health forum in New Orleans. "Nevada, we’re the exception. But not by much.”

The nonprofit’s report, "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America," was released Monday and ranks Nevada as the 37th heaviest state in the country. Of the state’s adult population, 22.2 percent are considered obese. Last year, Nevada ranked 42nd heaviest, with 21 percent of adults considered obese; in 2005, the Silver State ranked 43rd.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Trust For America’s Health analyzed state trends using data collected in telephone surveys by the federal Center for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. To measure obesity rates, the survey compares data from 2003-2005 with 2004-2006. It combines information from three years to improve the accuracy of projections. Because the information comes from personal estimates over the phone, some believe results are conservative.

The report found that adult obesity rates rose in 21 states in the U.S. since 2006, and adult obesity rates now exceed 25 percent in 19 states.

No state experienced a decrease. Even Colorado, ranked the leanest state, saw its adult obesity rate increase in the past year — to 17.6 percent, from 16.9.

Behind Mississippi as the top ranked states were West Virginia and Alabama.

"It isn’t getting any better; it is getting worse,” said Dr. James Lau, chief of the division of bariatric surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, which began in July as an effort to help the state’s residents shed some weight.

Unless Nevada can reverse the trend it will never meet the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s national goal of reducing adult obesity rates by 15 percent by 2010, Lau said.

The Trust For Health report found that rates of overweight children, ages 10 to 17, ranged from a high of 22.8 percent in Washington, D.C., to a low of 8.5 percent in Utah. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rate of overweight children were in the South.

Nevada’s children ranked 36th heaviest, at 12.4 percent, according to the report.

The report also shows that 26 percent of adults surveyed in Nevada say they do not engage in any physical activity. The national average is 22 percent.

But Nevada is one of a minority of states requiring school lunches, breakfasts, and snacks to meet higher nutritional standards than set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the report shows.

Nevada also sets nutritional standards for food sold in vending machines, a la carte, in schools stores or in school bake sales. It also limits when and where these foods may be sold on school property beyond federal requirements.

Nevada does not, however, screen fitness status or body mass index — known as BMI — of students. Lau and Wiener hope to change that.

"There has never been prevention here,” Lau said. "This state, we have done very little to address that problem. We have no obesity-related state programs. BMI is not being collected in schools yet. There are no screenings for diabetes in schools, so there is a lot of work that needs to be done.”

Wiener said a bill was passed during the 2007 Legislative session requiring school districts to obtain student body mass indexes, but only for study purposes. The idea is to perform a "scientific sampling" so overweight and obesity rates can be determined, she said.

Conditions linked to obesity include stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, gout and difficulty breathing.

According to a recent health report by the Southern Nevada Health District, chief health officer Dr. Lawrence Sands said the obesity rate in Clark County is up more than 3 percentage points since 2000 and continues to rise.

Sands said eating right and exercising remain the best ways to stay healthy.

Lau said the School of Medicine also has plans to address Nevada’s overweight and obesity issues through a new program called the Healthy Options for Prevention and Education, or HOPE. The program will be piloted for 20 months in Las Vegas starting in November.

The goal is to educate children and families about achieving healthier lifestyles through better dietary choices and physical fitness.

There are two components to the project, Lau said. The first is to work with local restaurants and buffets to create healthier menu options and to include nutritional information of meals.

"That’s a very daunting challenge but one we are willing to try to attempt,” he said. "If voters can pass a smoking ban, we feel that bolsters our chances of getting restaurants to offer healthier options to its customers.”

The second component of HOPE will focus on the development of uniform exercise routines at parks, community centers and athletic clubs.

To combat obesity, Lau said there is a lot of interest from the public in bariatric surgery, which changes a patient’s stomach size, the length of the small intestine, or both. The goal is to limit how much food can be eaten or absorbed.

The first bariatric surgery at UMC will be next month, Lau said.

"Most (bariatric) programs that start from the ground up take six months before the first operation,” Lau said. "I will begin in September in one-third of the time. That’s basically the demand that we have right now.”

Naquita Parker-Richardson, a certified bariatric nurse at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, said since its bariatric program started in 2005, roughly 18 to 20 operations take place there each month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.












NSPCA Gets Kittens From LA
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like