New Study: Montana Obesity is Increasing - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

New Study: Montana Obesity is Increasing

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Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare, and RiverStone Health released the results of their Community Health Needs Assessment study.

One outcome of the study said the overall physical health of Yellowstone County Residents is trending downward since 2004.

Since 2011, the Community Health Needs Assessment study said the obesity rate in Montana is increasing.

St. Vincent Healthcare, President Jason Barker said, "Obesity both... for kids and adults are an issue for us."

Barker said getting that number down is all about moving more, eating less, and getting enough sleep.

"What you really need to do is take a balanced approach to life and manage your stress. You manage your caloric intake, and you exercise more... a little bit more. Even if it's just walking," Barker said.

RiverStone Health President, John Felton said children are spending too much time with technology, and not enough time taking part in physical activity.

"When I was younger we didn't have video games. We had baseball games. You know, we didn't have smart phones. If you wanted to talk to someone you got on your bike and you rode across and you saw them," Felton said.

Felton said the problem is only 40% to 45% of kids are spending only an hour each day being physically active.

"And so it's just a different access to technology, and so we need to help kids understand there's other ways to do things," Felton said.

Felton said his goal for parents is to allow no more than two hours of screen time per day.

Barker said a community forum will be held at the Billings Public Library on February 4th from 11 AM to 1 PM.

That's when the results of the assessment will be shared with the community.