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Obesity Rates Continue to Climb in U.S.
Date:7/1/2009

Eight of 10 states with highest number of obese adults are in the South, report says

WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- The rates of adult obesity in the United States increased in 23 states during the past year and did not decrease in any state.

And the number of obese and overweight children has now climbed to 30 percent in 30 states, a troubling trend that could signal decades of weight-related health problems such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease as these children become adults.

Those are just some of the worrisome findings in an annual report on obesity in America, released Wednesday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"This report reaffirms that obesity is a danger both abundantly clear and almost universally present," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale University School of Medicine Prevention Research Center, who was not involved in the report. "It truly is a public health crisis of the first order, driving many of the trends in chronic disease, in particular the ever-rising rates of diabetes."

For the fifth year in a row, Mississippi topped the list as the state with the highest rate of adult obesity, at 32.5 percent, according to the report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009.

Besides Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee have obesity rates above 30 percent. Eight of the 10 states with the highest number of obese adults are in the South. The state with the lowest adult obesity rate is Colorado, at 18.9 percent, according to the report.

In 31 states, obesity rates exceed 25 percent, and in 49 states and Washington, D.C., the rates are above 20 percent.

Overall, two-thirds of American adults are now obese or overweight, according to the report.

As recently as 1991, no state had an adult obesity rate higher than 20 percent; in 1980 just 15 percent of adu
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