Obesity rates in states hit all-time highs • Missouri Independent

WASHINGTON – The number of highly obese states among residents has almost doubled since 2018, according to new data United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.

There were 16 states that had adult resident obesity rates of at least 35% last year, with Iowa, Ohio, Delaware, and Texas on this list for the first time. That’s an increase from 12 states in 2019 and nine states in 2018.

Officials from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials have described obesity rates as having reached record highs and point to how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the decades-long obesity pattern in the United States .

“Our focus on COVID-19 has distracted us from focusing on chronic disease prevention, which we need to come back to,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the association. “We need to get back on track to make sure we have the policies, systems and environments in place to support equitable access to physical activity opportunities and nutrition security for all. “

As of 2012, no state had an adult obesity rate above 35%, according to the Trust for America’s Health, a DC-based health policy organization.

Last year, more than 20% of adults in every state were obese, according to the CDC.

Mississippi had the highest rate nationally, at 39.7%. The rate in Missouri is 34%.

Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia also ranked among the rest.

Colorado had the lowest obesity rate at 24.2%.

Others in the lowest level – between 20% and 25% – were Hawaii, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Obesity rates are based on self-reported height and weight data collected through telephone surveys of risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.

By analyzing obesity rates from 2018 to 2020, federal health researchers identified racial, educational and regional trends.

No state had an obesity prevalence equal to or greater than 35% among Asian residents, seven had high obesity rates among white residents, 22 had high rates among Hispanic residents, and 35 states had high rates of obesity among Hispanic residents. obesity equal to or greater than 35% in black residents.

Among adults without a high school diploma, the obesity rate was 38.8%, while it was 25% among college graduates.

The Midwest and South had the highest levels of obesity among residents, at 34.1% in each region.

The western states had a rate of 29%, with 28% among residents of the Northeast.


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Joseph D. Whitman

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