Obesity Remains Rampant Across America
Two new studies present troubling picture overall with state-by-state disparities
FRIDAY, Sept. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 states have obesity rates topping one-third of their population, and six states saw a rise in obesity rates last year, according to two new reports released Thursday -- one from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the other from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
The CDC report, based on nationwide self-reporting of height and weight in 2013, indicates that obesity rates range from a high of 35 percent in Mississippi and West Virginia to a low of 21.3 percent in Colorado. Only seven states -- California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Utah, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia -- have fewer than one-quarter of adult residents who are obese.
The 20 states with obesity rates of 30 percent or more are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. The South and the Midwest had the highest prevalence of obesity at just over 30 percent. The Northeast had obesity rates of 26.5 percent and the West weighed in at just under 25 percent.
Adult obesity rates inched up last year in six states -- Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Wyoming -- and didn't come down in any, the RWJF/TFAH researchers said in their State of Obesity report. Although the rate of increases is beginning to slow after decades of growth, "rates remain far too high," the researchers added in a news release.