Adult Obesity Rates Pass 35 Percent in 7 U.S. States

Seven states in America had obesity rates among adults at or above 35 percent. This record number is an increase from five states in 2016.

In addition to the increase, no state had a significant improvement in its obesity rate over the past year, according to the annual State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America report. The report, now in its 15th year, is published by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Between 2016 and 2017, there were increases in obesity in six states. Currently, 48 states have adult obesity rates exceeding 25 percent. The report found that at least 20 percent of adults are obese in every state. However, the rates of obesity vary across the country.

According to the study, seven states now have obesity rates at or surpassing 35 percent. Most of these states, with the exception of West Virginia and Iowa, are in the south. The other five states include Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Only two states, Colorado and Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, have rates less than 25 percent. Western and northeastern states, as well as Florida, have rates between 25 and 30 percent. Central states like the Dakotas, Kansas and Missouri, as well as southeastern states, like Georgia and the Carolinas, have rates between 30 and 35 percent.

The lowest state-rate of obesity is 22.6 percent in Colorado and the highest is 38.1 percent in West Virginia, according to a press release from the TFAH and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2017 was the first year adult obesity rates surpassed 35 percent in Iowa and Oklahoma and was the second time for Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia.

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SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report, Alexa Lardieri