Tuesday, September 22, 2015

South remains the most obese part of U.S., says State of Obesity report

The South remains the fattest part of the country, according to the 12th Annual State of Obesity report released this week by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Arkansas leads the way with an adult obesity rate of 35.9 percent. West Virginia is second, at 35.7 percent, followed by Mississippi, 35.5 percent; Louisiana, 34.9 percent and Alabama, 33.5 percent. Colorado has the lowest rate, at 21.3 percent.

"Seven of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the South, and 23 of the 25 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South and Midwest," Daniel Enoch reports for Agri-Pulse. "Nine of the 10 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South. Diabetes rates increased in eight states— Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania."

No state had an obesity rate above 15 percent in 1980, and no state had a rate above 20 percent in 1991, Enoch writes. "Now, nationally, more than 30 percent of adults, nearly 17 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds and more than 8 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are obese. Obesity, the report notes, puts some 78 million Americans at an increased risk for a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer," Enoch writes. "It is also one of the biggest drives of health care costs." (To view an interactive version of the map, click here)

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