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Landscape of Obesity in Missouri

December 4, 2020
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Jill Barnas

Obesity is the result of causal, behavioral factors such as physical inactivity and poor dietary habits. Statewide policies to improve nutrition, exercise, and health in schools and communities are a promising approach to address the primary risk factors of obesity.


  • Missouri obesity rates continue to grow with associated costs projected to be $13 billion by 2030.
  • Healthy eating habits and physical activity reduce the risk of developing obesity for children and adults.
  • Obesity prevention initiatives that educate and develop healthy, active behaviors in childhood might have the greatest chance to reduce obesity rates.


  • The prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity is generated from self-report data and can have inherent variability. Individuals may inaccurately report weight and physical activity metrics.
  • Missouri has several obesity prevention initiatives; however, the effectiveness of these programs to reduce obesity remains undetermined
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