INDIANAPOLIS - A new report shows environmental factors have driven growth in Indiana’s obesity rates and recommends “collective action” to address the health epidemic. The report found that the epidemic results in high economic costs for Indiana, totaling $8.5 billion in 2017.

The report was released by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation finding that obesity has increased dramatically in Marion County and Indiana, becoming one of the most significant preventable causes of morbidity and mortality.

The report shows that Hoosier obesity rose from 20 percent in 1995 to 34 percent in 2017, a rate that is the 12th highest in the U.S.

“The rise in obesity is not the result of changes to the gene pool or the failure of individuals. It is a function of changes to the environments that influence healthy behaviors,” Claire Fiddian-Green, president and chief executive officer of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, said in a news release. “We must address this pressing health challenge in order to thrive as a city and state.”

You can find the full report by clicking here.