BSU Study: Hoosiers Bigger Than 20 Years Ago

Posted On February 06, 2012

(Muncie, Ind.) – A new study shows Hoosiers are getting bigger, and it’s not just the extra weight put on at Super Bowl parties.


Ball State University’s Global Health Institute released the report titled “Burden of Obesity Among Adults in Indiana” on Monday.


The analysis found 66.5 percent of the adult population in Indiana – or 3.2 million Hoosiers – is overweight or obese, slightly higher than the national rate of about 64 percent.


The large figure, both literally and figuratively, is up from just 50 percent of state adults who were considered overweight or obese in 1991.


“This is a clear indication that two-thirds of our population may be at risk, and this is preventable,” said Kerry Anne McGeary, GHI director and Phyllis A. Miller professor of health economics at Ball State. “Obesity poses a major risk for serious diet-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, as well as certain forms of cancer. Obesity is listed as the fifth largest cause of death.”


Ball State’s study also showed correlations between obesity and socioeconomic levels. About 63.9 percent of adults with household incomes of $75,000 or more annually report being overweight or obese.


The waistlines only increased as income levels lowered. Just over 67 percent of adult Hoosiers in households with incomes of $50,000 to $75,000 were overweight or obese; 69.6 percent with household incomes of less than $15,000; and 71.2 percent with household incomes of $15,000 to $25,000.


“As a state, we’ve acknowledged that obesity is a problem that we cannot afford,” she said. “It will be interesting to look at the trend over the next 10 years to see if Hoosiers are paying attention and changing their lifestyles,” McGeary said.


The full Ball State Univeristy report is available at http://cms.bsu.edu/Academics/CentersandInstitutes/GlobalHealth/Reports.aspx.