Obesity in Michigan

Research indicates that 2.5 million adults and 400,000 children in Michigan are obese.

Michigan has an obesity problem. According to studies outlined in the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan, over 2.5 million adults and 400,000 children are considered obese. Michigan State University Extension says that some of the health risks associated with obesity includes: Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, stroke, cancer and dementia. If the current trend associated with high obesity rates continues, it could cost the state billions of dollars in unnecessary health care expenditures.

The MDCH Michigan 4 x 4 Plan provides strategies for those interested in reducing obesity and improving health and wellness through the 4 x 4 Tool. The 4 x 4 Tool incorporates the following guidelines:

Practicing four key healthy behaviors:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet
  2. Engage in regular exercise
  3. Get an annual physical examination
  4. Avoid all tobacco use

Awareness of four key health measures (closely tied to chronic disease):

  1. Body mass index (BMI)
  2. Blood pressure
  3. Cholesterol level
  4. Blood sugar (glucose) level

MDCH recently unveiled a new initiative called MI Healthier Tomorrow. MI Healthier Tomorrow encourages Michigan residents who are struggling with their weight and/or concerned about chronic diseases associated with obesity, to make healthy changes and lose 10 percent of their body weight. Participants can make an online pledge and provide a mailing address to receive a free “Getting Started Kit” that provides tips and resources that will guide them through their weight loss journey. Additionally, those who choose to give an e-mail or mobile phone number can also sign up for texts and/or e-mails to receive healthy motivational messages, reminders, recipes, etc. that will help them stay focused on reaching their goal of losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.

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