A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Adult obesity reaches all-time high of 36.6% in Ky.; Docter calls on insurance to cover obesity prevention

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky adults just keep getting larger, reaching an all-time high for the number of obese adults in the state, ranking it fifth in the nation. “As a society, as a whole, we’re not quite convinced yet what a major problem this is,” said Dr. Barbara Fleming-Phillips, an internist who helps run the weight management clinic at UK Healthcare’s...

Kentucky still ranks near bottom for health according to 2018 America’s Health Rankings report

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Kentucky is facing serious health challenges, according to an annual state-by-state ranking of key health indicators. The America’s Health Rankings 2018 report released on Wednesday places Kentucky 45th among states, down from 42nd in 2017. Health experts say finding a physical activity you enjoy will help you stick to it. (Photo from Pixabay, via PNS) Dr....

New report shows obesity is still major crisis; Ky. ranks eighth among states with highest obesity rates

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Obesity is a crisis that continues to plague Kentucky and the rest of the country, according to data released this week. An annual report by the health policy group Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows the Commonwealth is ranked eighth nationally among state for the highest obesity rate, with 1-in-3 adults considered obese....

Kentucky moves up slightly in America’s Health Rankings, but there’s little reason to celebrate

Kentucky moved up three notches in the latest America’s Health Rankings, from 45th to 42nd, but its improvement stemmed mainly from gains in the factors that determine health, not the actual health outcomes. The state was 39th in health determinants (clinical care, policy, community and environment) but 46th in outcomes, such as the death rate from cancer, which is the nation’s worst. That...

Exercise cuts the risk of heart damage, even among Kentuckians struggling with obesity, report says

Exercise not only lowers the risk of heart damage in middle-aged adults and seniors, but can also reduce the levels of heart damage in those who are obese, according to a new study. “The protective association of physical activity against [heart] damage may have implications for heart failure risk reduction, particularly among the high-risk group of individuals with excess weight,” lead...

As national consumption increases, new book claims sugar is our nutritional enemy

For about decade as the century started, more and more Americans appeared to obey the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advice to eat less sugar. But that trend of improvement has leveled off, according to statistics released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data show that about half of American adults drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily and...

WalletHub study reveals Kentucky residents the fourth heaviest in the United States

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month and Americans collectively spending up to $315.8 billion annually on obesity-related medical treatment, the personal-finance website WalletHub took an in-depth look at 2016’s Fattest States in America. The study showed Kentucky to be the fourth heaviest state in America. In order to encourage America to tip the scale back to good health,...

WHO report says 20 percent tax on sugary drinks would lead to corresponding decrease in obesity

From The Rural Blog A 20 percent tax on sugary drinks would decrease obesity by 20 percent, says a report by the World Health Organization. The report also said reducing prices for fruits and vegetables would increase consumption of those products. WHO officials say “drinking fewer calorific sweet drinks is the best way to curb excessive weight and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes,...

UK professor’s finding involving cell splicing may point to new ways to treat obesity and cancer

University of Kentucky College of Medicine Professor Stefan Stamm has identified a previously-unknown function of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs): regulating a fundamental cellular process called alternative splicing. His findings point to new ways to treat obesity and cancer. “Alternative splicing allows cells to make multiple proteins out of a single gene,” Stamm explains. In alternative splicing,...

Kentucky continues to rank among leaders in childhood obesity; families now aware of problem

By Colleen Weinkam SmartHealth Today Nationally, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled since 1980, and one in three children is overweight or obese. That’s according to The State of Obesity, a project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that looks at obesity data trends and policy analysis. But what does childhood obesity look like in our region? Dr....

Kentucky adult obesity rate jumps to 34.6 percent, ranks fifth in the nation; diabetes rate highest ever

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News We’re fat, and getting fatter. And that’s making us sicker. More than one-third of Kentucky adults are obese, placing the state fifth in the country in obesity, a big jump from 12th the year before. Kentucky was one of only two states where obesity rates increased from 2014 to 2015, according to the latest State of Obesity report. Kentucky’s...

Mike Denham: Finding ways to address childhood obesity biggest public health challenge in U.S. today

To get a better understanding of just how prevalent obesity has become in America, consider that no state had more than 20 percent of its adult population fall in that category in 1996. Today, no state has less. Kentucky has seen its rate for adults double during that timeframe, from about 16 percent to more than 32 percent, putting us 12th highest among the 50 states. Unfortunately, the state rankings...

Rural Blog: CDC study shows youth obesity rates up overall, but decline for younger children

Obesity rates among children—-a major concern in rural areas-—continue to rise, although rates among younger children have declined in recent years, says a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, which used data of 40,780 children from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found...

Your Health: Cancer link to obesity should provide motivation to healthy weight maintenance

By Victoria Meyer Special to KyForward If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. Two thirds of adults in the United States are obese. This means they have a body mass index (a calculation of height and weight) more than 30. Studies in both the United States and Europe have documented that being overweight or obese can...

Your Health: Cancer link to obesity should provide motivation to maintain healthy weight

By Victoria Meyer Special to KyForward If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. Two thirds of adults in the United States are obese. This means they have a body mass index (a calculation of height and weight) more than 30. Studies in both the United States and Europe have documented that being overweight or obese can...

Kentucky drops two spots in health rankings to 47; in the bottom five of eight measures

  Kentucky Health News   Kentucky dropped two spots in the 25th annual America’s Health Rankings report this year and finds itself once again as one of the bottom five healthiest (or unhealthiest) states.   Since the rankings were first released in 1990, with the exception of 2008 when it ranked 39th, Kentucky has ranked in the bottom 10 states for health. This year it ranks 47th.   The...

Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Day combines research with opera

Everett McCorvey,far right, is director of University of Kentucky’s Opera Theatre. Here he performs with fellow artists. (Photo from UKNow)   By Mallory Powell Special to KyForward     The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center recently hosted its fourth annual Diabetes Day and used the event to combine new research with new opera singers.   With a focus on...

Weighty Matters: What’s in the cheap, easy, fast meals everyone eats? Probably not food

When I lived in Jerusalem, there were no Burger King restaurants like this one now in Israel. Now, fast food franchises have taken over the world! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Lesley Cissell KyForward columnist   Let’s talk the ’80s. Not big hair and parachute pants, but the insidious creep of chemicals in our food supply.   I don’t have scientific proof that...

Twin scourges of obesity and cardiovascular disease are focus of $11.3M health grant to UK

  By Allison Elliott-Shannon Special to KyForward   In a time when competition for federal research funding is tougher than ever before, the University of Kentucky has been awarded one of the largest health grants ever made to the institution: an $11.3 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant supporting research focusing on issues that plague the Commonwealth – the twin...