According to a recent report, Arkansas and West Virginia are America’s fattest states with 35.9 percent and 35.7 percent of adults being obese. Obesity rates are also soaring in Utah, Ohio, New Mexico, Kansas and Minnesota, but remain stable in the rest of the states.
Nationwide, more than 30 percent of adult population is deemed obese, The State of Obesity report found. The states with the lowest obesity rates are Colorado with 21.3 percent obese adults, District of Columbia with 21.7 percent, and Hawaii with 22.1 percent.
Researchers also fond that three states have obesity rates higher than 35 percent (Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi), while in 20 states obesity affects over 30 percent of population.
The report also revealed that obesity is rampart in the South and Midwest. Seven states in the top-ten list of obesity are in the South, while 23 of 25 states with obesity rates above 30 percent are in the South and Midwest.
Moreover, the South now faces a diabetes epidemic with 9 of 10 states that have the highest diabetes rates in the nation in the South.
Twenty-five years ago, obesity rates nationwide were not higher than 15 percent, while in the early 1990s, those rates stayed below 20 percent. The report also revealed that 17 percent of kids and adolescents are obese. Obesity rates among children 2 to 8 years old soared to eight percent in the last two decades.
Dr. Jeffrey Levi of the Trust for America’s Health, one of the two nonprofits that sponsored the study, said that efforts to rein in obesity paid off because obesity rates are now steady in many states, although they remain rather high.
“However, given the continued high rates, it isn’t time to celebrate,”
Dr. Levi added.
The two ethnic groups with the highest rates of obesity are native Indians and Alaska natives. African Americans are also more obese than whites by 38 percent. Hispanics are more obese than whites by 28 percent.
African Americans, however, are extremely obese in 14 states where obesity rates among this racial group go beyond 40 percent of adult population.
Researchers also found that middle aged people are more obese than young adults by 26 percent. Between ages 20 to 39, obesity rates stabilize around 30 percent, while in people in their 40s and 50s those rates jump to 40 percent.
About six percent of U.S. adult population is deemed “severely obese.” Researchers underlined that the number is 125 percent higher than in the last 20 years.
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