Obesity Rate Swells in 28 States

June 29, 2010
by Bill Hendrick

Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, with the No. 1 ranking going to Mississippi, where 33.8% of adults are obese, according to a new report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010.”

Other major findings in the report:

  • 38 states have adult obesity rates above 25%. (No state had an obesity rate above 20% in 1991.)
  • 10 of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South.
  • The number of states where obesity rates exceed 30% has doubled in the past year, from four to eight -- Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
  • 19.1% of people in Colorado are obese, the lowest rate of any state.
  • The number of adults who report they do not engage in any physical activity rose in 12 states in the past year.
  • Adult obesity rates for African-Americans and Latinos are higher than obesity rates for whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Among adults who did not graduate from high school, 33.6% were obese, compared to 22% with college degrees.
  • 12% of high school students are obese and 15.8% are overweight.
  • 10 of the 11 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South, as are the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension.