Clinical study shows Wisconsin obesity rates are higher than self-reported

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A new study is showing clinical obesity rates are higher than were initially self-reported in Wisconsin.

Tony Alter / CC BY 2.0 / MGN

The Wisconsin Health Atlas has been released by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and it's taking a clinical look at obesity across the state.

The study shows that where you live may have a big impact on your opportunities to maintain a healthy weight.

The health department says in the past Eau Claire’s self-reporting on obesity has reflected around 29-percent of the Eau Claire population as obese.

However the new study shows a much different picture based off clinical studies which include taking a patients actual weight, height and measurements. The study shows Eau Claire is looking at a population
that's around 40-percent obese.

Director Lieske Giese said, “Really strong data shows it's not just a personal choice that we have to have availability of good, healthy foods that are at a price people can afford. If you have a low income, you don't have a car, you don't have access to food it's tough to be physically active and get good food in you.”

Registered dietician Susan Kasik-Miller also says the survey shows those who live in rural areas may have fewer chances to maintain a healthy lifestyle versus those that live in urban areas

“People who live in rural areas there tends to be more obesity,” explained Kaski-Miller. “That can be due to the fact that there aren't a lot of grocery stores. The groceries that are available are not necessarily produce but rather things that tend to be more calorie-dense. There may be fewer opportunities for physical activities and being involved in physical activities.”

The study also looks at how age plays a role in obesity rates.

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