Risk Factors for Obesity in Washington State

Nutrition

Dietary guidelines

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Low fat dairy and meats.
  • Whole grains.
  • Healthy fats within caloric needs.

The guidelines recommend limiting:

  • Unhealthy fats.
  • Added sugars.
  • Sodium.
  • Alcohol.

People who follow the dietary guidelines are at lower risk for:

  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

The diets of most Washington residents vary substantially from the recommendations.

Poor nutrition

Poor Nutrition has the potential to affect the growth, development, and health status of all people. Pregnant women, infants, children, and older people are especially vulnerable.

Poor nutrition includes not eating enough fruits and vegetables, high food insecurity rates, and low breastfeeding rates.

Data

For more information, please go to Nutrition in Washington State (PDF).

Physical activity

People who are physically active benefit from a sense of well-being that comes from physical fitness and an enhanced ability to cope with the stresses of daily life. Compared to their sedentary neighbors, people who are active are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and less likely to develop chronic diseases. Many social and environmental factors influence the decision to be active. Successful strategies to promote physical activity educate the individual and develop policies that create environments to support active lifestyles.

For more information, please go to Physical Activity in Washington State (PDF).