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Rise in Obesity Rates in 31 States

t" state, with 29.5 percent of its adult population considered obese. Alabama and West Virginia are second and third with 28.7 percent and 28.6 percent of the adult population, respectively, being considered obese. Mississippi also has the highest combined level of obese plus overweight adults at 67.3 percent.

Nine of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates as well as the highest rates of diabetes and hypertension were found to be in the South.

Colorado proved itself to be the "thinnest" state, with an adult obesity rate of only 16.9 percent. Other "thin" states are in the West and Northeast, including Hawaii (18.2 percent), Massachusetts (18.6 percent), Rhode Island (19.5 percent) and Montana (19.9 percent).

According to the report every single state in the union failed to make enough progress to meet the national goal of reducing adult obesity levels to 15 percent or less by the year 2010.

Levi said, "The 2004 and 2005 documents reported that there was no strategic policy to address obesity. The 2006 report shows little improvement. While there are innovative promising pilot programs under way in some parts of the country, for the most part, federal and state policies are limited in scope, designed for the short term and woefully underfunded."

He added, "It's a shared responsibility involving individual and society."

Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan, vice president for academic affairs at Emory University's Woodruff Health Science Center, and chairman of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity said, "We believe that all stakeholders must be involved if changes are to take place." Some of the other findings of the report include,

? The percentage of adults who are obese or overweight exceeds 60 percent in 28 states.

? West Virginia has the highest rate of type 2 diabetes among adults (10.4 percent) while Alaska has the lowest rate (4.5 percent)
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