Obesity rates reach historic highs in more U.S. states

Thu Sep 4, 2014 12:50pm EDT
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By Reuters Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rates of adult obesity increased in six U.S. states and fell in none last year, and in more states than ever - 20 - at least 30% of adults are obese, according to an analysis released on Thursday.

The conclusions were reported by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and were based on federal government data. They suggest the problem may be worsening despite widespread publicity about the nation's obesity epidemic, from First Lady Michelle Obama and many others, plus countless programs to address it.

From 2011 to 2012, by comparison, the rate of obesity increased in only one state.

The 2013 adult obesity rate exceeds 20% in every state, while 42 have rates above 25%. For the first time two states, Mississippi and West Virginia, rose above 35%. The year before, 13 states were above 30% and 41 had rates of at least 25%.


A sign hanging in a bariatric surgeon's office in Denver, September 22, 2010.    REUTERS/Rick Wilking