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Obesity tops 35 percent in 7 U.S

15 September 2018

Utah's obesity rate ranks on the lower end of the scale.

At least one in five adults in each state is obese and there is no sign that the rates are improving, according to new national data released by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Seven US states have obesity rates of at least 35 percent, a new map has revealed.

Between 2012 and 2017, 31 states had significant increases in their obesity rates and six states - Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and SC - had rates spike between 2016 and 2017.

"Florida actually looks good relative to other states because it has an obesity rate of 28 percent of the population, whereas many states are over 30 or 35 percent".

There are numerous reports related to the monitoring obesity rates.

Nationally, adults without a high school degree had obesity rates of 35.6 percent, compared with 32.9 percent for people with a high school degree, 31.9 percent of people with some college-level education, and 22.7 percent for college graduates.

Colorado fared relatively well with an obesity rate of just 22.6, while West Virginia has the worst rate at 38.1 percent.

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California's ethnic breakdown shows a 32.1 percent rate among Latinos, 31.4 percent rate among blacks and 23.1 percent among whites. "And when the funding goes down, states like Florida and the local communities within the state lose resources".

According to TFAH, obesity is the nation's most pervasive public health crisis, resulting in an estimated $149 billion annually in health care costs and another $66 billion in lost productivity costs, such as workplace absenteeism.

Obesity's impact is most serious in communities where access to healthy foods and regular physical activity is limited.

"The goal is to create the conditions that encourage healthy behavior", Auerbach said. These are typically lower income and rural areas, including many communities of color, the report noted. "But we won't see meaningful declines in state and national obesity rates until they are implemented throughout the nation and receive sustained support".

There are, however, bright spots in certain settings where policies and programs have made it easier to eat well and exercise.

Maintain nutrition standards for school meals that were in effect prior to USDA's interim final rule from November 2017, as well as current nutrition standards for school snacks. Medicare should promote and cover obesity counseling.

Food and beverage companies should eliminate children's exposure to advertising and marketing of unhealthy products.

Obesity tops 35 percent in 7 U.S