For at least 30 years now, editorial writers, politicians and civic leaders have been wringing their hands about the “two Georgias” problem. The term was reportedly coined by the late Albany, Ga., media magnate James Gray in 1983 to frame a discussion about economic disparities between north and south Georgia. Generations of leaders have since regularly invoked it as a lament about the state’s seeming inability to bridge myriad gaps among various parts of the state.
The discussions almost always center on economic development and prosperity in different parts of the state and then bridge to other issues, including education and transportation. Health status and healthcare sometimes make it onto the agenda, but usually as a footnote or an afterthought.
August 1, 2012
Today, we’ll take a look at some fresh work we’re doing on obesity in Georgia. Obesity itself isn’t necessarily a medical condition, but it often contributes to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and some types of cancer – all of which obviously are serious medical conditions and very expensive to treat.
It’s not news, of course, that Georgia has an obesity problem. According to United Health Foundation’s 2011 edition of America’s Health Rankings, 30.4 percent of adult Georgians are obese and we rank 38th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Another non-profit that tracks health status, the Trust for America’s Health, says we’re doing a little better. In the 2011 edition of its “F as in Fat” report, TAH puts the adult obesity rate in Georgia at 28.1 percent. It also uses a worst-to-best ranking system that puts us in 17th place nationally; on the best-to-worst scale used by America’s Health Rankings, we’d be 34th. Read more