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Obesity rates in America are holding steady!

Aug 16th, 2013

Obesity rates in America

Credit: Daniel Latorre via Flickr

We’re still fat, but we’re not getting much fatter is the finding of a new report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The report found that the overall obesity rates in america (all but one state) held steady in contrast to the 30 year trend of overall increases.

Woo Hoo!

Now that we’ve celebrated, we must acknowledge that we’re still in trouble. Just because the obesity rate didn’t increase doesn’t mean that it’s not already sky high. As it is now, 13 states have adult obesity rates exceeding 30 percent, while rest have at least a 20 percent.

If that’s not shocking let’s put that in perspective. Back in 1980 no state had more than a 15 percent rate of obesity, and in 1990 no state had more than 20 percent. Today more than two thirds of all American adults (68.7%) are either obese or overweight. Not good news at all.

But while this new report is certainly no cause for a parade it does appear that the fight against America’s obesity epidemic is making some steady if not slow progress. Earlier this summer we saw that America had lost her greasy grown as the world’s fattest country to Mexico, and that the obesity rates in america preschoolers aged children from poor families in 19 states decreased.

Despite the generally good news for America’s obesity epidemic, some states are suffering from it more than other.The title of fattest state goes to Louisiana with 34.7 percent rate of obesity. Not far behind though are Mississippi (34.6 percent) and Arkansas (34.5 percent). While it may be tempting to think “oh my those poor states” your home state is probably not that far behind. The skinniest state, Colorado, has a 20 percent rate of obesity. Still not a number that’s easy to shrug off.

Even though we are seeing progress those rates are still unbelievably high when viewed historically. And if more is not done to start bringing those numbers down America’s already strained health care system will be pushed to brink in the coming years.

Another study released this week from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Columbia University found that between 1986 and 2006 obesity was responsible for 18 percent of American deaths. That’s a staggering number that’s likely to increase as time goes on and increasingly affect younger and younger Americans. The author of the study also made it clear that it’s possible the real number is even higher than 18 percent.

Oh man so much bad news, I think I need a Smash Burger to calm my nerves!

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