HONOLULU (KHON2) — Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States; and as active as Hawaiʻi’s lifestyle is, we continue to battle obesity in our state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released some new research with which spotlights some of the issues that Hawaii residents are dealing.

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Hawaii has a population of nearly 1.5 million people. With this population, Hawaii ranks number three in the U.S. for most diverse populations.

That means that we have lots of differing genetic, cultural, economic and generational impacts on health making it less easy to pinpoint causes and treatments than a more homogenized population.

There are an estimated 36%, more than one third, of Hawaii’s population who are dealing with obesity. And there are approximately 15% of children who are having to deal with being obese.

So, some stats that the CDC included to spotlight some behaviors that may be linked are as follows:

  • 39.2% of adults reported consuming fruit less than one time daily.
  • 23.1% of adults reported consuming vegetables less than one time daily.
  • 60.2% of adults achieved the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week.
  • 45.2% of adolescents reported consuming fruit less than one time daily.
  • 22.0% of adolescents were physically active at least 60 minutes per day on all 7 days in the past week.
  • 85.0% of infants were ever breastfed.
  • 64.5% of infants were breastfed for at least 6 months.
  • 12.8% of children aged 2 to 4 years in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program were overweight.
  • 10.2% of children aged 2 to 4 years in WIC had obesity.

In the most recent data from 2021, there are approximately 11.2% of Hawaiʻi’s population who live below the poverty line. This number take into account individuals or families whose collective income is below the national poverty level of the U.S which is $14,580 for individuals and $30,000 for a family of four.

Of course, these poverty lines do not take into account the cost of living in Hawaii, which is higher than the national average. The cost of living in Hawaii is estimated to be around $70,000 to $100,000 for a single person and $120,000 to $200,000 for a family of four.

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KHON2.com reached out to local physicians and hospitals, but they were unable to provide any more information outside of what the CDC has found.