Data compiled about obesity in Barry County

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

DietSpotlight gives specific look into county residents’ needs

DietSpotlight is a nutrition and weight loss website launched 10 years ago, which gets 30 million visitors annually, according to Summer Banks, director of content, and the company has been compiling data via volunteer survey throughout the country.

“We just completed a two-year study on obesity and weight loss in Barry County,” Banks said. “The study identifies rates and trends in BMI (body mass index), activity level and preferred diet programs (Keto, Atkins, etc.) over time and shows how these correlate to gender, age and even specific neighborhoods in Barry County.”

Banks said additionally, the statistically significant size of the study, and the fact that it just wrapped up in recent weeks, makes it both fresh and compelling.

“All data was collected through a voluntary survey form on our website, and participants did not receive compensation,” she said. “All information is anonymous.”

Jessica Touzet, marketing director for DietSpotlight, said for a resident of Barry County, obesity is something that’s seen daily.

“The average resident should lose about 53 pounds to reach a healthy weight, which isn’t far off from the state average 62 pounds and country average 59 pounds,” she said. “That brings Barry County in 14 percent lower than the state average and 10 percent lower than the national average.”

Touzet said women in Barry County weigh, on average, 220 pounds.

“Taking additional data into consideration, that comes out to an average BMI of 31.4,” she said. “The upper limit for a healthy BMI is 24.9.”

Touzet said about 33 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese, and that number is steadily increasing one year to the next.

“In 2014, it was estimated that 73 million men and women were obese,” she said. “By 2018, that number had risen 20 million to a high of 93 million Americans, according to the Obesity Action Coalition.”

Touzet said at DietSpotlight, data was collected from visitors, both men and women, interested in finding help losing weight with fat burners, diet pills, supplements, workout programs, and more.

“While on the website, many chose to anonymously share information such as height, weight, age, and location,” she said. “Using this information, the website was able to gain a closer look at how obesity in communities rather than in countries.”

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