Study indicates Utahns aren’t as healthy as they think they are

Posted at 7:12 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 21:12:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Get Healthy Utah and Envision Utah have collaborated on the first ever Utah Health Values study, and they say their findings are surprising.

“Utahns guessed that about 45 percent of Utahns are overweight or obese, when in fact 60 percent are overweight or obese,” said Greg Bell, chair with Get Healthy Utah and President & CEO of Utah Hospital Association.

The study revealed:

• 30% of survey participants were obese, but only 11% said they had a major weight problem.
• 51% of people who said they were in great health were technically overweight or obese.
• Utahns are twice as likely to think they're eating right than to think the rest of Utah is eating right.

“Get Healthy Utah's mission is—in a gentle, friendly way—encourage Utahns to realize that what they eat and how active they are makes a real difference in their quality of life,” Bell said.

It’s a study meant to encourage healthy living and healthy spending on health care in the future.

“Our rate of diabetes is going to double in the next 20 years, and it's unsustainable," Bell said. "It's a very expensive disease... it costs every one of us money."

The study also reveals that Utahns didn't see healthy living as a high priority. Envision Utah and Get Healthy Utah are hoping that with more data available on the reality of the situation, perceptions might change.

“So if people can just eat fruits and vegetables and take a walk every day, they are going to be great, they're going to save medical money, and they're going to have a lot more fun in life,” Bell said.

Click here to view the full study.