1 in 3 U.S. Adults Beyond Overweight

While 1 in 3 U.S. adults and 1 in 6 children are obese, according to a new report out it says that the rate of increase could be stabilizing in some states.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who conducted the report, said West Virginia had the highest obesity rate at 37.7 percent, Mississippi was second place with 37.3 percent and Alabama and Arkansas tied for third place at 35.7 percent.

While the obesity rate increased in 2015 and 2016 in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington and West Virginia, it fell in Kansas and was stable elsewhere. Colorado had the lowest obesity rate at 22.3 percent.

Turns out there’s a tiny silver lining in the new report about obesity in this country. It’s the first time in 14 years that the obesity rates dropped and other states rates have begun to slow down.

The report recommended focusing on early childhood prevention such as promoting exercise, expanding investments in community-based programs, increasing healthcare coverage for obesity prevention and treatment, and improving school-based efforts to provide healthy meals and physical activities.

The study analyzed CDC data on body mass index (BMI), a measure of height and weight. Those people with BMI of 25 to 29 are considered overweight; whereas 30 and above is considered obese.

The report found that 25 states had obesity rates above 30 percent and in 2000 there were no states above 25 percent. Nine of 11 states with the highest obesity rates are located in the South. States in the Northeast and West had lower obesity rates. The most problematic areas are in the 13-state Appalachian region, which lags behind the country in 33 of 41 public health indicators, including seven leading causes of death.

The economic impact obesity costs the country is more than $150 billion each year in preventable health care costs and contributes to many different health problems. Obesity rates were higher among adults without a college education or with annual incomes below $15,000. The report also found that 25 percent of young adults who tried to join the military were deemed ineligible due to weight and fitness concerns.