Report: 9 States Have Obesity Rate Over 35 Percent

Report: 9 States Have Obesity Rate Over 35 Percent

Nine states in the U.S. had adult obesity rates over 35% last year, an increase from the seven states found at that level the year before, according to data compiled by the Trust for America’s Health.

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Based on research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, or BRFSS, the researchers found that obesity levels were highest in Mississippi and West Virginia, at 39.5%, and lowest in Colorado, at 23%. The nine states with an adult obesity rates at 35% or higher are Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia.

Obesity rates were higher among people with lower levels of income and among people of color, both of whom are more likely to live in areas with less access to healthy foods, physical activity and with widespread marketing of unhealthy food.

“These latest data shout that our national obesity crisis is getting worse,” John Auerbach, President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, said in a statement. “They tell us that almost 50 years into the upward curve of obesity rates we haven’t yet found the right mix of programs to stop the epidemic. Isolated programs and calls for life-style changes aren’t enough. Instead, our report highlights the fundamental changes that are needed in the social and economic conditions that make it challenging for people to eat healthy foods and get sufficient exercise.”

The group notes that children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children have seen declining obesity levels, as have areas that passed local taxes on sugary drinks.

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Sep 14, 2019 - -

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