Report: Obesity a problem for one-third of American adults

The study analyzed CDC statistics on body mass index, or BMI. People with a BMI of 30 and above are considered obese.
By Carmelo Sheppard | Sep 05, 2017
A new report released Thursday finds that one out of three adults in the United Stats is obese.

Using data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the report was prepared by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

West Virginia had the highest obesity rate at 37.7 percent, Mississippi came in second at 37.3 percent, while Alabama and Arkansas tied for third place at 35.7 percent.

For the first time in the 14 years of preparing the yearly report, however, some states' rates of obesity have decreased and rates of increases in other states have started to decline, according to John Auerbach, President and CEO of Trust for American's Health, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

"We concluded the report with a fair amount of optimism," Auerbach said. "The adult rates are showing signs of leveling off and the childhood rates are stabilizing."

The study analyzed CDC statistics on body mass index, or BMI. People with a BMI of 30 and above are considered obese.

The states with the highest obesity rates are in the South, while Northeastern and Western states had lower rates. Adults without a college education or with annual incomes less than $15,000 had higher obesity rates.

The report says efforts should focus on early childhood prevention, such as promoting the benefits of exercise, expanding community and school-based programs, and increasing healthcare coverage for obesity prevention and treatment.

"In our review of the policies and strategies, we found that many (states) show a lot of promise for reversing the trends and improving health if we make them a higher priority," Auerbach said.

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