Childhood obesity listed among top concerns
There is some irony in the fact that the State of Georgia is the site of the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and yet the state is 47 worst out of 50 in the rate of infectious diseases.
As well, Georgia ranks 41 in adult obesity and 48 in child obesity.
“We can’t be very proud of the health status of Georgia,” said Phillip Williams, dean of the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health.
Williams, along with Marsha Davis, an associated dean at the College of Public Health, addressed a joint meeting of Kiwanis and Rotary on Thursday.
Translating poor health and obesity to the pocketbook, Williams said obese Georgians spend $1,500 more for health care each year than do non-obese persons.
Adding to the economic woes on a broader scale, he also noted that poor health impacts work forces and the ability to attract industry and new jobs to an area. Also impacting public health issues, Williams said that in some rural counties in the state the majority of the population is 65 years of age and older. He said based on statistics, as Latino and African-American populations increase in the state, health issues will increase exponentially.
He said 30 counties in Georgia, most of them from central Georgia southward, have life expectancies of Third World countries such as Thailand, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Colquitt County was not among the 30, but several surrounding counties did make that list.
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The Moultrie Observer, January 6, 2011