The United Health Foundation recently released their first-ever comprehensive report on the health of America’s senior population. According to a statement from the authors Reed Tuckson, MD and Rhonda Randall, DO, “The report provides a comprehensive analysis of senior population health rankings on both national and state levels, and it comes at a critical time. Americans are living longer but sicker lives, and America’s senior population is poised to grow 53 percent between 2015 and 2030.” This fascinating report ranks each state by the incidence of several factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, low-care nursing, and food insecurity.
The United Health Foundation, a Research!America member, is dedicated to creating a healthier America and, through this report , the authors have released some disturbing data. For example, over a quarter of seniors are obese which places them at far greater risk of debilitating diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers. Obesity, which was recently declared a disease by the American Medical Association, is also commonly linked to poorer health status and premature death. It is imperative that we work to reverse these trends as our population continues to age and place a greater burden on the healthcare system. Click through the report and see how your state ranks in the health of its seniors.
As Research!America’s recently updated Fact Sheet illustrates, obesity is a major public health concern in this country. Although the fact sheet relates to obesity across the entire population and not simply seniors, it reaches the same conclusions as the UHF report in that we must do more to combat obesity through biomedical and health research, interventions and public education initiatives encouraging healthier lifestyles.