States Battling Obesity, Making Progress

by Joy Keller on May 01, 2007

Several states are taking positive steps to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic, especially as it affects children. The University of Baltimore Obesity Initiative’s latest report card gave six states—California, Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee—an “A” for their legislative and public-policy work in the past year to control childhood obesity. California, New York and Tennessee earned the same grade for their efforts across all populations.

The number of states working to manage the prevalence of obesity is increasing. Last year, for example, a band of states running across the nation’s midsection was viewed as doing little or nothing to combat the problem. This year, that same region is showing all-around improvements, with Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri, West Virginia and both North and South Carolina each earning a “B” on the Obesity Initiative report card.

Zoltan Acs, professor emeritus of economics and entrepreneurship in the university’s school of business and co-founder of the Obesity Initiative, said that a state-based approach to combating obesity makes sense. “We’re seeing more of these laws coming out of the states, and some of them are quite effective,” he said in a press release. “A federal solution would be much more difficult. Every state has a different mix of populations and outlook on diet and nutrition, and so a one-size-fits-all approach simply would not be feasible.”

The report card, including a narrative and methodology, is available at www.ubalt.edu /experts/obesity.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.