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Kentucky leads as one of the most unhealthiest states

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 7:53 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky ranked fourth overall as one of the most overweight and obese states in the U.S., according to a WalletHub report.

The Bluegrass state ranked number one for the highest percentage of obese children. Child health professionals can attest.

“Things like sleep apnea, asthma, liver disease, high cholesterol,” Nikki Boyd, Norton Children’s Hospital Health and Wellness Coordinator said. “These are children right? So there we have some of these clinical manifestations, if you will, of obesity. And these are things that are going to carry on to them in adulthood.”

Kentucky found itself at the front of a trending national curve. Based on an established body mass index from the CDC, roughly two out of 10 children ages six to 19 were classified as obese.

In addition, lack of healthy lifestyle amenities continues to be a problem.

“Lack of fresh fruit and vegetables at a grocery store, we call that food insecurity,” Boyd said. “There’s a lack of safe spaces for kids to play.”

Medical experts said COVID disruptions made problems worse for children and adults.

CDC obesity numbers for adults are doubled, with inactivity cited as a leading cause.

Kentucky also leads the nation, ranking number one for the highest percentage of physically inactive adults.

“If you’re diabetic, or get peripheral neuropathy, your legs swell; if you get heart disease and it just affects the whole body,” Dr. Chuck Anderson, Baptist Health Louisville Chief Medical Officer said. “It runs you down, you’re not as good as you should be.”

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