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Why Does Louisiana Rank as One of America’s Unhealthiest States?


Factors That Contribute to Low Access to Healthcare in Louisiana

If you live in Louisiana, then you know there is so much to love about the Pelican State. Brimming with sports fanatics, a subtropical climate, mouthwatering Cajun and Creole cuisine, and a lower cost of living than the rest of the country, it is easy to see why almost 5 million people call Louisiana home. Sadly, the state we love has been hit with a healthcare crisis. In 2015, Louisiana ranked 50th overall among the 50 states in the United Health Care Foundation’s Report, “America’s Health Rankings 2015.” Louisiana also had the highest rate of adult obesity in the country at 36.2%, according to the 14th annual State of Obesity report. In recent years, Mississippi has rivaled Louisiana due to low activity levels and a high prevalence of smoking in the state, but Louisiana remains one of the unhealthiest states in the U.S. These are some of the facts surrounding Louisiana’s low ranking:

  • Louisiana has higher rates of diseases of the heart, HIV, and drug-related mortality than the national average, according to the CDC.
  • The teen pregnancy rate in Louisiana is above national levels. The national average in a given state is that there are 57 teen pregnancies per 1000 teens, whereas in Louisiana that number sits at 69.
  • Louisiana has historically had high levels of cancer rates – one of the top in the nation.
  • WalletHub has reported in their study titled “2018’s Best & Worst States for Health Care” that Louisiana has the worst healthcare system in the country, with the third highest share of adults reporting avoiding a doctor because of the high cost. The state is limited to 16 dentists per capita, which is the lowest number in the U.S. Furthermore, the Medicaid acceptance rate among physicians in Louisiana is 54.2%, which is the third lowest in the U.S.
  • More than 17% of children in Louisiana live in “food-insecure households,” which gives them limited access to healthy food. This leads to some concerning findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, including the fact that 13.2% of low-income children in Louisiana ages 2 to 4 have obesity. The rates do not decrease with age, seeing as 19.2% of children ages 10 to 17 and 17% of Louisiana high school students have obesity.

Even though obesity has reached epidemic proportions across the globe, it is a largely misunderstood disease. Many people who suffer with obesity feel ashamed, but it is a disease just like any other and should not be treated with shame. We understand that overcoming health issues like this can be difficult to discuss, but the office at Soza Weight Loss is a judgment-free zone, and we are only here to help you in your journey as you build a healthier you.

Obesity is a complicated disease that can happen to anyone, but there are certain risk factors that could make you more likely to experience it. Although the issue of obesity in Louisiana is multifaceted, some of the factors that might impact residents include genetics, medical history, lack of access to adequate medical care in the area, family medical history, poor diet, and physical inactivity.

How Do We Help Our Patients Treat Obesity?

Even though obesity is a major problem throughout every state of the U.S., Soza Weight Loss is particularly proud to help the state of Louisiana fight this battle and regain optimal health. Our goal is to enrich the lives of those who suffer with obesity, which among other negative consequences, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you have been diagnosed with this disease, you should not lose hope. In fact, many of the detrimental effects of obesity can be reversed through healthy lifestyle changes. An Australian study conducted in 2015 proved this by demonstrating that with lifestyle changes and weight loss, the effects of obesity on heart disease can be reversed. Furthermore, the study found that even the patients who lost weight and regained it yielded better results than those who had never lost weight at all.

At Soza Weight Loss, we want our patients to understand that a healthy lifestyle spans across many parts of their life, like their diet, vitamin intake, and beyond. If you have been having difficulty losing weight or addressing problematic health issues, we will work with you to discover the root of the problem. Through both preventative and remedying measures, we will work to customize a weight loss plan for you to create targeted solutions and long-lasting results. Our methods involve an all-natural plan that is centered around low-calorie and nutrient-dense meals. As a result, patients experience life-changing weight loss and improved health overall.

If you would like to learn more about our weight loss programs, call Soza Weight Loss at (504) 475-9817 or contact us online.