Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



Nearly two-thirds of the American population is now overweight, and the rate of obesity has doubled since the early 1960s. The state of Indiana has elected to forgo Medicaid expansion available through the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), which includes funding specific to obesity and obesity-related comorbidities. Utilizing the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2014 Health Statistics, causative obesity factors found in current research literature is examined for Indiana’s 92 counties. The variables are examined to determine significant correlation with adult levels of obesity. The significant variables (smoking, unemployment levels, physical inactivity) found in the correlation are then placed in a multivariate regression. The three combined variables explain 16 percent (R2 = .16) of Indiana’s current obesity percentage (31 percent). The only significant variable found in the regression matrix is the physical inactivity percentage (β = .21, t = 2.29, p < .05). Funding found within the ACA, specifically Community Transformation Grants (CTG), provide an opportunity for Indiana to address the physical inactivity found statewide. CTG grants are available to states, counties, and municipalities, provided the funds address physical inactivity, healthy living improvements, obesity reduction, or smoking-cessation efforts.