(LOUISVILLE, Ky - September 12, 2018) The Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today released their annual report on the state of obesity in America. Nationwide, the rates are the highest they've ever been. Kentucky has the 8th highest rate of obesity among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2017, with a 34.3 percent adult obesity rate; the state was 7th in 2016, with a rate of 34.2 percent. For high school students, Kentucky ranks 3rd out of 43 states reporting, with a rate of 20.2 percent, up from 18.5 percent in 2015.

Following is a statement from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky about this report:

"The obesity rate in the Commonwealth has been on a dangerous trajectory for nearly two decades, tracking a national trend that is costing the state billions in health care and lost productivity, and jeopardizing the health of 1.1 million Kentucky adults every year," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. "Shrinking our waistline means reducing diabetes, heart disease and obesity-related cancer, and enjoying a happier, more productive life. Locally, many communities are showing progress, including six that are working with the Foundation under grants to prevent obesity in childhood. What we've learned through these grants is that it takes a coalition of partners committed to system-wide changes that make better nutrition and increased physical activity easier and more likely for everyone. It's hard work and it takes long-term commitment, but it's imperative to getting Kentucky back on track to better health."
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested nearly $28 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.

Media Contacts:
Bonnie J. Hackbarth
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Alexa Kerley
877-326-2583 (Office)