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Nutrition and Physical Activity

Alabama’s #4 Health Concern

Alabamians identified nutrition and physical activity as the fourth greatest current health concern in Alabama. Fortunately, it is possible to obtain reasonably comprehensive data on nutrition and physical activity from ADPH’s BRFSS data which looks at healthy behaviors of Alabamians. Questions are asked about fruit and vegetable consumption and obesity.

The Alabama population is very sedentary and engages in limited physical activity. In addition, many people live in food deserts, with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. As a result, Alabama has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation.

Alabama Nutrition and Physical Activity Highlights

Alabama has a high rate of obesity and a low level of physical activity. In addition, Alabamians do not have a healthy diet and eat relatively few fruits and vegetables. A third of Alabama’s population is obese and usually ranks in the top five states in the nation in obesity. This is partly due to the low levels of physical activity. In 2011, only 15.0 percent of the population met the physical activity guidelines. Almost half of Alabamians did not consume even a single fruit or glass of fruit juice daily. Also, over a quarter of the population consumed vegetables less than once per day. The result of this is a very unhealthy population with high rates of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, many cancers are related to the poor diet and lack of exercise.

Health Indicators

The following indicators have been selected for use in developing a benchmark or starting point for measuring the current state of and monitoring future changes regarding nutrition and physical activity in the population of Alabama:


Page last updated: May 13, 2021