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Report: U.S. Obesity Leveling Off, But Still at High Rate
Adult obesity rate above 30 percent in 13 states (August 16)
After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates remained level in every state except Arkansas in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013, a new report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent; 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent; and every state is above 20 percent, according to the report. In 1980, no state was above 15 percent; in 1991, no state was above 20 percent; in 2000, no state was above 25 percent; in 2007, only Mississippi was above 30 percent.
Since 2005, there has been some evidence that the rate of increase has been slowing. In 2005, every state but one experienced an increase in obesity rates; in 2008, rates increased in 37 states; in 2010, rates increased in 28 states; and in 2011, rates increased in 16 states.
“While stable rates of adult obesity may signal prevention efforts are starting to yield some results, the rates remain extremely high,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. “Even if the nation holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers — who are aging into obesity-related illnesses — and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis for the health care system and Medicare.”
Levi added, “In order to decrease obesity and related costs, we must ensure that policies at every level support healthy choices, and we must focus investments on prevention.”
In addition to the latest data showing a stable rate for adult obesity, a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month showed that 18 states and one U.S. territory experienced a decline in obesity rates among preschool children from low-income families. The report provided state-specific trends in obesity rates among children aged 2 to 4 years who were enrolled in federal health and nutrition programs, such as the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Source: TFAH; August 16, 2013.