YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With Thanksgiving just a week away, Ohio’s top doctor is reminding people to be mindful of what they are eating over the holiday season.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, of the state’s Department of Health, said figures show more than 38 percent of Ohioans are clinically obese. Thirty-three percent is the average for the U.S.
Vanderhoff said Ohio ranks seventh in the country for obesity, which then leads to several other health issues.
“The CDC estimates that obesity costs the nation $173 billion annually in increased health care costs. America clearly has a weight problem,” he said.
According to the doctor, most often, the prescription for reducing obesity is to eat more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and get more exercise.
Vanderhoff also discussed a significant jump in flu and RSV cases. Although those numbers have not increased as much this year, he said it is important that people receive vaccinations against these respiratory viruses heading into the colder winter months.
“We will almost certainly see some sort of winter surge of COVID-19, RSV or influenza that underlines the importance of taking advantage of this current window of opportunity to get vaccinated,” he said.
Vanderhoff said the most at risk are those infants whose mothers were never vaccinated while they were pregnant and adults over the age of 65 or with pre-existing health issues.