Obesity in America: U.S. Weighs in on Epidemic

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Obesity in America is a growing problem. According to the American Obesity Association (AOA) nearly 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight (64.5 percent), 60 million are obese (30.5 percent) and 9 million are severely obese (4.7 percent). If these obesity statistics aren’t enough, a recent report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) shows that rates for adult obesity have increased in more than half of states in the country within the last year alone!

The report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2007,” rates all 50 states and Washington D.C. in terms of adult obesity rates. Where does your state fall in the obesity ranking? Mississippi ranks number 1 with the country’s highest rate of adult obesity for the third consecutive year. More than 30 percent of Mississippi’s adult population is obese. And HIN’s home state of New Jersey fares well but could afford to improve its rating as it shares number 31 on the list with Washington, D.C.

In contrast, Colorado is staying in shape as it weighs in last for obesity. But they shouldn’t celebrate too soon — although Colorado has the lowest adult obesity rates nationwide, the state’s average rate has increased in the past year from 16.9 percent to 17.6 percent.

And the runner up-is…

Where does your state rank? After Mississippi, the runner up was West Virginia. Alabama came in third for highest adult obesity rate, followed by Louisiana in fourth, and South Carolina and Tennessee tied for fifth place.

Rounding out the top five healthiest states with the fewest obese adults is Rhode Island in fifth place, Connecticut and Hawaii, tying for fourth, Vermont in third and Massachusetts ranking second place.

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