Americans Getting Fatter: Obesity Rates Over 35 Percent In 7 States

Desiree Burns
September 14, 2018

The report from the Washington D.C. -based nonprofit Trust for America's Health and the New Jersey-based nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows Minnesota has an obesity rate of 28.4 percent among the state's adult population.

Americans are getting fatter at an alarming rate, with seven states recording obesity rates of over 35 percent compared to just five states in the year before.

Adult obesity rates increased in Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and SC between 2016 and 2017, and no states saw any declines.

Minnesota has a lower obesity rate than many states, according to the findings of a study released Wednesday.

"This year's State of Obesity report presents a stark illustration of the toll the obesity epidemic continues to take on our nation".

The 2017 data, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlight continuing discrepancies in adult obesity rates across geographic areas, race, and education levels.

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We need to rapidly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels. This year is shaping up to be the fourth hottest, he said. In fact, the opposite is true".

Health officials say that addressing the obesity epidemic will not only lead to better health outcomes but also reduce medical costs. An estimated $149 billion is spent annually in directly related health spending.

In 2012, a study from Cornell University in NY found obesity accounts for about 21 percent of total U.S. health care costs, approximately $190.2 billion per year.

John Wiesman, the state of Washington's secretary of health, said, "Obesity is a major challenge in almost every state, and our role as public health leaders is to ensure we're doing everything we can to address it". Obesity prevalence among black adults sat a 39 percent obesity rate compared to 32.4 percent among Hispanic adults and 29.3 percent for white adults.

Overall, 22 states had adult obesity rates between 30 and 35 percent, while obesity was a health concern for at least one-quarter of adult residents across 19 states, the report said.

West Virginia posted the highest obesity rate at 38.1 percent, while Colorado posted the lowest obesity rate at 22.6 percent.

The report offered recommendations for government policymakers, restaurant and food industries, and the health care system. Medicare should promote and cover obesity counseling. So far, the growth of waistlines across the United States is not slowing down.

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