-The nation’s obesity rate has reached the highest-ever level this year, according to the United Health Foundation’s 2018 . Obesity is a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease, cancer and other conditions. Additionally, an increase in drug deaths, suicides and cardiovascular disease deaths is contributing to an increase in premature death.
In its 29 th year, the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report also reveals bright spots, including the reduced rate of childhood poverty and an increased number of mental health providers and primary care physicians per 100,000 people. Key findings include:
Obesity Prevalence Reaches All-Time High; Premature Deaths Continue to Increase
The obesity rate exceeded 30 percent of the adult population for the first time in America’s Health Rankings history, up 5 percent in the past year (from 29.9 percent to 31.3 percent). Premature deaths increased 3 percent (from 7,214 to 7,432 years lost before age 75 per 100,000 people).
Suicide Rate Increases
The suicide rate has increased 16 percent since 2012 (from 12.0 to 13.9 deaths per 100,000 people). The suicide rate is 3.5 times lower in New Jersey – the state with the lowest rate for this measure – with 7.5 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with Montana, the most at 26.0 deaths per 100,000. The suicide rate is much higher among males: 22.2 deaths per 100,000 compared with females at 6.2 deaths per 100,000.
Childhood Poverty Percentage Decreases; Number of Health Care Providers Increases
Childhood poverty – a key indicator of socioeconomic status and overall health – decreased 19 percent in the past five years from 22.6 percent in 2013 to 18.4 percent in 2018, and decreased 6 percent since 2017. The number of mental health providers per 100,000 people increased 8 percent and the number of primary care physicians increased 5 percent nationwide in the past year.
Read more at AP