Obesity rates have gone up in 28 states in the past year, with the number one ranking going to Mississippi where one third of adults are obese. Ten of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South, and the number of states where obesity rates exceed 30 percent has doubled in the past year. More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.
The only place in the U.S. where obesity declined was the District of Columbia, according to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010," a report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
The report highlights troubling racial, ethnic, regional and income disparities in the nation's obesity epidemic. For instance, adult obesity rates for Blacks and Latinos were higher than for Whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia.
"This report shows that the country has taken bold steps to address the obesity crisis in recent years, but the nation's response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. "Millions of Americans still face barriers - like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active - that make healthy choices challenging."
Children and Adolescents Affected too
The report also includes obesity rates among youths ages 10-17, and the results of a new poll on childhood obesity conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint. The poll shows that 80 percent of Americans recognize that childhood obesity is a significant and growing challenge for the country, and 50 percent of Americans believe childhood obesity is such an important issue that we need to invest more to prevent it immediately. The survey also found that 84 percent of parents believe their children are at a healthy weight, but research shows nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight.