The latest annual report, the 2011 F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future, was published by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that throughout the United States obesity rates continue to rise. Only one state — Colorado — has an obesity rate below 20 percent, its rate is now 19.8 percent. Mississippi continues to be infamously the most obese state with 34.4 percent.
Currently 12 states have an obesity rate above 30 percent — up sharply from four years ago when only one state (Mississippi) had such a rate. Notably 9 of 10 states in the South have the country’s highest obesity rates. Rates are also disproportionately higher in lower income and poverty levels — 33 percent of those earning less than $15,000 per year are obese, and 24.6 percent of those who earn at least $50,000 per year.
Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above. The organization has tracked these statistics since 1995. Amazingly, Colorado’s 19.8 percent would have been the nation’s highest that year. This puts into perspective how quickly this has all been happening.
A summary with maps and link to the full pdf report is here: F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011.
Also check out below, an animation showing how obesity statistics have skyrocketed since the 1980s when the CDC started tracking them.
The real tragedy of all of this are the health complications of obesity that people face that lower quality of life and may spell a shortened life expectancy. Diabetes are on the rise, as the report notes 43 states have diabetes rates over 7 percent, and all states have hypertension rates above 20 percent.
Of course, behind these statistics are the people suffer with diminished health and illness or who are no longer with us. Having lost many relatives and friends to some of these complications of obesity, I am reminded of the emotional pain involved, when someone makes too few changes too late. Finding the motivation in a toxic food environment is difficult, despite the plethora of diet and exercise recommendations and a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry.
Skinny Bliss readers, please share your thoughts on the new report.
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