Grand Challenges: Health

Kansas has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation, and more than 20 percent of Kansas children live in poverty. With a shortage of primary care physicians, especially in rural areas, education and prevention are vital. K-State Research and Extension programs address quality of life, healthy development, and health behaviors across all life stages for all socioeconomic groups, and target the diversity of Kansas.

What we are doing

Attracting more than 15,000 Kansans annually to participate in Walk Kansas, the eight-week program to increase exercise and improve nutrition.

Identifying best practices to help prevent childhood obesity.

Saving more than 6,000 Medicare participants an average of $832 per person with Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas.

Conducting workshops to help families and practitioners understand care options for elderly Kansans.

Sharing unbiased information about the Affordable Care Act. Most Americans don't have adequate information to make the best decision for their situation.

Since 2001, the Food Science Institute coordinates the work of 57 nationally and internationally recognized faculty from five K-State colleges and 13 departments.

Kansans Getting More Healthy

In 2013, Walk Kansas reached 15,709 participants. Surveys indicate that 87% were more physically active as a result of the program, and 81% met their activity goals.

85% are more aware of healthy eating recommendations and 76% increased fruit and vegetable consumption goals.

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Did You Know?


Why K-State Research and Extension can help find solutions for the challenges facing Kansans


We have

  • a statewide network to share unbiased information,

  • expertise on topics important to Kansas, and

  • established local, state, regional, national, and international partnerships.