Obesity is harmful to health

Being overweight or obese means that a person has too much body fat and it may be affecting their health. Obesity increases the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several cancers.

Obese children are more likely to grow up to be obese adults. Older children and adolescents who are obese can face immediate health problems, like high blood pressure, bone and joint problems and asthma.

Healthy habits and communities contribute to healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight involves balancing the calories you consume with the calories you burn. You can directly control your weight by eating nutritious foods and being physically active. Parents can help provide the best start for kids by feeding them healthy foods and allowing them plenty of time for active play.

Communities, workplaces, schools, and early childhood programs play a crucial role in supporting healthy habits. Community members and policymakers can work together to make sure all Minnesotans have affordable opportunities to eat healthy and be active.

What is being done about obesity?

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) supports community-driven solutions to expand opportunities for active living and healthy eating.

The Minnesota WIC Program helps young families stay healthy through services, such as:

  • Providing individualized nutrition assessments and counseling on how to eat a healthy diet for pregnant women, mothers, and children.
  • Promoting breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life.
  • Encouraging healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (CDC) leads national obesity prevention efforts and does obesity surveillance and research.

The MDH Health Economics Program (HEP) studies heart disease and diabetes data to understand how heart disease and diabetes affect health care costs, quality, use, and illness burden in specific locations or populations. HEP provides data to inform state health care policies.