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5. Priority Area: Obesity

State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) 2021-2025



Obesity is associated with major causes of death and disability, and its effect on predisposing individuals to the development of type 2 diabetes is so strong that the onset of this disease now is occurring in childhood. In the United States alone, one-third of adults are now obese, and the prevalence of obesity among children has risen from 5 to 17 percent in the past 30 years. . In economic terms, the estimated annual cost of obesity-related illness based on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for 2000-2005 is $190.2 billion (in 2005 dollars), or nearly 21 percent of annual medical spending in the United States. 

The ADH in collaboration with its community partners will address these issues by highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle (- Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Academies Press)


The ADH and its community partners will implement strategies to decrease obesity prevalence among Arkansas youths and adults.


Priority Area - Obesity
Goals, Strategies, and Objectives
Time Period
Current Actual Value
Current Trend
Baseline % Change
SHIP Partners
  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation - Arkansas

  • Arkansas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

  • Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI)

  • Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP)

  • Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese

  • Arkansas Department of Agriculture

  • Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

  • Arkansas Department of Health

  • Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Childcare and Early Childhood Education (DCCESE)

  • Arkansas Department of Human Services, SNAP

  • Arkansas Deptartment of Transportation

  • Arkansas Farm to School

  • Arkansas Heart Hospital

  • Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (AHRA)

  • Arkansas Minority Health Commission

  • ArCare

  • Boys and Girls Clubs

  • Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention - AR Children’s

  • Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock

  • Culinary Institutes

  • Growing Healthy Communities (GHC)/mayors

  • Healthy Active Arkansas

  • Hometown Health Improvement Coalitions

  • Hospitals

  • Library System

  • Metroplan

  • Natural Wonders, AR Children's

  • Univ of AR Cooperative Extension Services

  • University of Arkansas Medical School College of Public Health

Why Is This Important?
Obesity is a complex health condition with biological, economic, environmental, individual and societal causes. Known contributing factors to obesity include social and physical environment, genetics, prenatal and early life influences, and behaviors such as poor diet and physical inactivity.
Adults who have obesity, when compared with adults at a healthy weight, are more likely to have a decreased quality of life and an increased risk of developing serious health conditions, including hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, sleep apnea and breathing problems, some cancers and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Weight stigma, or discrimination and stereotyping based on an individual’s weight, may also negatively influence psychological and physical health. Children with obesity are more likely to be bullied and to have obesity as adults. 
The costs associated with obesity and obesity-related health problems are staggering. One study estimated the medical costs of obesity to be $342.2 billion (in 2013 dollars). Beyond direct medical costs, the indirect costs of decreased productivity tied to obesity are estimated at $8.65 billion per year among American workers.
About 2 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children and adolescents in the United States have obesity,1 and many others are overweight.
Definition: Percentage of adults with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher based on reported height and weight
Data Source & Year(s): CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020
Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, Accessed 2021.
A healthy body weight, as an outcome of good nutrition and physical activity, is important for a person's overall health and well-being. A healthy body weight can help reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Healthy eating, regular physical activity, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important to managing health conditions so they do not worsen over time.
Healthy weight loss isn't just about a "diet" or "program". It's about lifestyle changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Good habits include:
  • Choose minimally processed whole foods with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains
  • Drink water or other beverages that are naturally calorie-free
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, processed meats, refined and highly processed foods
  • Avoid overeating by choosing small portions and eating slowly, eat at home, and eat mindfully, enjoying your food
  • Stay active. If there was a "magic bullet" for good health, physical activity would be it
  • Limit screen time
  • Get enough sleep
  • Relax. Control stress with regular physical activity
Outcome Measures

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

Scorecard Container Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy