The obesity epidemic has been sweeping America and Hawaii is no exception. In the past 20 years we have more than doubled our obesity rate to the current rate of 22%. Obesity related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension have also been increasing and are expected to continue to rise, in many instances the number of cases are expected to more than double. Our current obesity related healthcare costs are nearly $413 million per year. If we continue these trends, these healthcare costs will continue to rise. Imagine how much we will be paying even 10 years from now.
Surrounded by ocean, this tropical paradise hosts over 8 million visitors each year. These visitors come searching for beautiful beaches, fresh fruit, delicious seafood, and relaxation. It is no surprise that tourism is the main source of revenue for residents of the islands. The eight main islands each have their own distinct characteristics. The Big Island, where the Mango Foundation is located, is known for Kilauea, its active volcano. What is less well known about the Hawaiian Islands is the high rates of obesity.