Obesity rates in Delaware double

Dr. Uday Jani is an internal medicine doctor for Beebe Hospital in Delaware and he tells 47 ABC that if we rewind back to the 1950’s our food portions and food consumption in general is vastly different then it is now.

“We are super sizing everything but are we super sizing our effort,” asked Dr. Jani.

And the proof of that may ne in the pudding,  literally. As Delaware ranks 28th in the nation for highest adult obesity rate,  at nearly 30% according to an annual report called The State of Obesity. Internist Doctor Uday Jani tells 47 ABC that a main driver of obesity is sugar.

“There are some studies that have been done on rats where they were exposed to either cocaine or sugar water and then they did the study to see what they were more addicted to and there are studies showing that the rats were as addicted to sugar or even more in some cases as for cocaine,” explains Dr. Jani.

This means sugar is addictive and more then likely stimulating the same pleasure centers of the brain as cocaine. And just like any other hard core drug, getting off sugar can lead to withdrawal and cravings; requiring a detox process to wear off.
Americans consume 30% more sugar daily than we did three decades ago, according to the Obesity Society. This is mainly from junk food and fast food restaurants. But Doctor Jani says it’s not only sugar intake that folks should be aware of.

“Lifestyle; the exercise has gone down and our food intake has gone up and we’re eating more and more I think because  with the additives and what the food industry is doing to make it more palatable and more enjoyable,” said Dr. Jani.

Aside from being aware of your sugar intake Dr. Jani tells us staying active is important as well. As for the adult obesity rate in Delaware, despite being nearly 30% it has fallen slightly since 2013, hen it was just over 31%.

According to the Physical Activity Council approximately 81.6 million Americans were completely inactive last year. Which leads  to bigger issues, like diabetes. According to Dr. Jani, people with diabetes cost the state’s Medicaid program twice as much as those without the chronic condition.

Last year alone Medicaid spent an average of $24,387 on each patient with diabetes compared with $10,880 for someone without the disease, according to the study commissioned by MedChi and conducted by the Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Approximately 80,000 Delawareans have diabetes, according to Delaware.gov and that number is said to be growing. This is exactly the kind of information Dr. Jani wants people to know more about which is why he’s scheduling free lectures across Sussex County. The next one is set for Thursday in Milton.

Categories: Delaware, Health, Local News