Nutrition

Kentucky families have poor nutritional habits, including consumption of foods high in fats and sodium and low in fiber, and many do not achieve the recommended amount of physical activity each week.

Obesity has risen dramatically in the United States in the past few decades and in Kentucky in the past several years. In addition to obesity, Kentucky has also seen an increase in related chronic diseases; the rise in both is particularly prevalent in Kentucky children.

Nutrition by the numbers:

  • 66.2% of Kentucky adults are either overweight or obese
  • 1/3 of Kentucky children are either overweight or obese
  • 30% of adults report no physical activity at all each week

Kentucky rankings:

  • 5th in the U.S. for obesity rates
  • 6th in the U.S. for hypertension
  • 7tb in the U.S. for Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • 6th in the U.S. for cardiovascular disease
  • 8th in the U.S. for stroke

The prevalence of obesity remains unchanged in a substantial portion of the population, especially in minority communities. For example, cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in all Americans, occurs at a disproportionately higher rate in African Americans, and the average age of African Americans with CVD and related mortality is significantly lower than other ethnic groups.

Low-income families are also more vulnerable to obesity and related chronic diseases primarily due to poor diets, limited resources, and total lack of or limited access to health care and health-related education.

Kentucky State University has vibrant nutrition education programs to offer families of the commonwealth. KSU’s goal is to provide participants in nutrition programs with necessary nutrition- and fitness-related educational programs and resources to reduce adult and childhood obesity, improve knowledge and skills, and promote lifestyle changes.