Dr. Dwayne Proctor with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has some bad news for Georgia.
"Georgia has a serious obesity problem right now," Proctor said. "If these obesity rates continue until the year 2030, you are going to have about 50 percent obesity rate in, which means you are going to have over a million new cases of type II diabetes and over two million new cases of heart disease and stroke."
Proctor delivered the news at a roundtable discussion on childhood obesity. He was the keynote speaker at the event sponsored by the Arthur Blank Foundation.
Proctor said childhood obesity is not a personal problem, it's a community problem.
"If 50 percent of the Georgia population is obese, that's one out of two and it's going to impact the workforce productivity and it's going to affect healthcare costs and its going to affect the quality of life of all Georgians all over," Proctor said.
But Proctor also said there are steps that other places like Philadelphia and Mississippi, which used to be the fattest state in the country, have taken that actually work.
"They have increased access to healthy foods that are affordable in communities where there were no healthy foods available before," Proctor said. "They have made certain that schools start serving healthier foods, sometimes restricting vending machine access, doing things to increase physical activity of schools and communities. Our kids really need to have a better relationship with fruits and vegetables in order for them to be healthy."
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has pledged $500 million to fight childhood obesity. Its goal is to reverse the epidemic by the year 2015.
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