The New England Journal of Medicine published a Special Report a few years back that projected that
“…as a result of the substantial rise in the prevalence of obesity and its life-shortening complications such as diabetes, life expectancy at birth and at older ages could level off or even decline within the first half of this century.”
Registered dietitian and nutritionist – and Bike Delaware member – Dr. Barbara Boyce puts this in a Delaware context:
“Delaware has a public health problem. More and more children and adults are getting heavier and many are developing diabetes or pre-diabetes. We need to stop the weight gain. According to BRFSS statistics, 27% of adults in Delaware are obese (with a BMI of > 30%). A 2009 report from Delaware Health & Social Services showed that the prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled among Delawareans between 1995 and 2007. At a rate of almost 9% for adults, Delaware has a higher rate of diabetes than the national average.
“To deal with this public health issue, we need to make it easy and fun to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This includes designing and rebuilding our communities to encourage active lifestyles. People still need to take responsibility for their own health, but communities need to play an active role. Delaware invests heavily in its infrastructure for roads to accommodate cars and trucks. What about more infrastructure for biking and walking? A greater amount of attention and money needs to be given to making our communities healthier so that we can all enjoy a more active lifestyle. Losing just 10% of one’s body weight goes a long ways in terms of improving one’s overall health. As warmer weather approaches and we think more about being outdoors, let’s let our legislators know that we want and need healthier communities so that we can live healthier lives.”