Obesity infographic

APHA released an infographic Wednesday highlighting the U.S. obesity epidemic. Photo by APHA

Obesity is a growing problem in the U.S, but a new infographic produced by APHA shows how public health can lower the nation’s weight.

The infographic, “Public health takes on obesity: A route to better health,” shows how improved food choices, the built environment, safer neighborhoods and increased opportunities for physical activity combine to keep the fat off. In fact, after many years of growth, childhood obesity rates have actually declined since 2003.

However, data still shows alarming obesity trends in U.S., including:

  • 35 percent of U.S. adults are obesity today, more than doubling the adult obesity rate in 1980 (15 percent);
  • one in three U.S. kids ages 2-19 is overweight or obese, while obesity has nearly tripled among kids and teens over the last 30 years; and
  • each year obesity is responsible for 112,000 deaths and $152 billion in medical costs.

Public health funding cuts — including the 38 percent removed from the Prevention and Public Health Fund in 2013 — will continue to threaten the health, and waistlines, of all Americans.

“Public health funding, including the prevention fund, will be on the chopping block year after year if we don’t find a better solution to deficit reduction,” the infographic writes. “To keep winning the fight against obesity, we must continue to fund public health programs.”

View and download the full infographic as a PDF or image file.