Michigan one of multiple states that put on weight during COVID pandemic

‘Your body’s organs are working harder’

Obesity rates in America are on the rise and the problem is spreading across the country -- including here in Michigan.
Obesity rates in America are on the rise and the problem is spreading across the country -- including here in Michigan.

DETROIT – Obesity rates in America are on the rise and the problem is spreading across the country -- including here in Michigan.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 states had obesity rates of 35% in 2020 -- nearly twice as much as in 2018. In 2000, not a single state had an obesity rate of 25%.

Patricia Jurek, RD, MBA, is a dietician with Henry Ford Health System. She said today might not be the day to lose weight, but it might be the day to stop gaining weight.

Millions of Americans have put on weight during the COVID pandemic.

More than a third of Michiganders would be categorized as obese. In terms of those who have gained weight during the pandemic, the numbers are even higher.

“60-61% of Americans have gained weight,” Jurek said. “I think the average is about 29 pounds.”

Jurek said Henry Ford’s nutrition and weight programs have seen an explosion of people over the last two years, which is good since weight gain creates a comorbidity that makes people more susceptible to COVID and having more serious outcomes.

Even if you don’t accidentally create a path to pre-diabetes or diabetes, the extra weight is enough. She said today is the day to stop gaining weight. Jurek suggests starting small -- find ways to be accountable to yourself and your housemates.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.


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About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.