Recession isn't helping South Carolina residents' waistlines

S.C. jumps from eighth obese state in 2006 to fifth

July 6, 2009
by James Rosen
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- South Carolinians' wallets may be thinner these days, but their waistlines are expanding.

Almost 30 percent of South Carolina's residents are obese, making it the fifth-fattest state in the country.

That's the finding of a new study by two public health organizations, which also determined that eight of the 10 most obese states are in the South — though neither of South Carolina's neighbors, Georgia and North Carolina, cracked that unwelcome list.

“When you eat a lot of buttered biscuits and fried chicken, it takes its toll,” said Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, N.C.

South Carolina was the eighth-fattest state in 2006 in a report by the same two groups, the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The state's obesity rate has climbed from 26.2 percent then to 29.7 percent now.

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