Finally, some good news on obesity in America: the number of obese people dropped in four states last year, namely, Montana, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio, according to a report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Colorado has the thinnest population, with little over 20% of its residents in the obese category, while Louisiana is the heaviest with a 36% obesity rate, NBC News reports.
The same report found that obesity, in general, may be gradually decreasing. The groups said in a statement that, “The 13th annual report found that rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in four states, are at or above 30 percent in 25 states and are above 20 percent in all states. In 1991, no state had a rate above 20 percent.”
The report examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a reminder that obesity is a constant problem in the United States.
Obesity has contributed to thousands of preventable diseases, some of the fatal, and billions in health care costs that could easily have been avoided, according to Trust for America’s Health interim president Richard Hamburg. He added,
These new data suggest that we are making some progress but there’s more yet to do.
Various health campaigns seem to be taking effect. The report discovered that 40% fewer high school students are now drinking sodas daily.
However, disparities according to race and income are still observable, as 38% of African-Americans and 32% of Hispanics were reported to be obese, compared to 27.6% of whites.
But obesity rates have been decreasing across all states as a whole. In 2005, 49 states reported an increase in obesity, which went down to 37 states in 2008, 28 states in 2010, 16 states in 2011 and only one state in 2012. In 2014, two states saw a rise in obesity.
The survey also shows that childhood obesity has leveled off at 17% in the last decade. Obesity rates are gradually tapering down in two- to five-year-olds, stable in six- to 1-year-olds but increasing in 12- to 19-year-olds.
People are considered obese when their Body Mass Index (BMI) reaches 30 and over.