The Institute of Medicine assembled an expert panel that will examine the nation's growing obesity epidemic and identify effective ways to combat the problem. Nearly 69 percent of U.S. adults and 31 percent of children are overweight or obese, according to Trust for America's Health and IOM. Cases of diabetes and other chronic illnesses have risen along with obesity rates, prompting about $190.2 billion in treatment costs.
While the two organizations found that at least 20 percent of the adult population in all 50 states is obese, 20 states in the South and Midwest had the highest obesity rates, with Louisiana topping the list. The reports also showed that minorities, rural residents, low-income residents and those who did not graduate from high school have a higher risk of being overweight or obese.
The IOM panel, which will spend three years studying the issue, discussed these issues along with the challenges people face to change their daily routines and eating habits with Trust for America.