F as in Fat 2005

How Obesity Policies are Failing in America

August 2005

Obesity rates continued to rise last year in every state but one, and government policies and actions to date offer little hope of countering the trend, according to a new report by Trust for America's Health.

Mississippi ranked as the heaviest state, Colorado as the least heavy, and rates stayed the same in Oregon, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2005. Over 25 percent of adults in 10 states are obese, including in Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina. Seven of those 10 states are in the Southeastern U.S.

Approximately 119 million Americans, or 64.5 percent, of adult Americans are either overweight or obese. Estimates of the number of obese American adults rose from 23.7 percent in 2003 to 24.5 percent in 2004.

To help combat the obesity crisis, in the report, TFAH challenges the research community to focus on five major research questions to better inform policy decisions, and policymakers to act on 20 identifiable common sense based policy actions. Some of the key recommended policy action items include:

  • Bolstering Preventive Care
  • Leveraging Change in Food Options
  • Smarter Community Design
  • Improving School Nutrition and Physical Education
  • Providing More Useful Information and Support

2005 Report (1.5MB .pdf)

TFAH Release: Report Finds Obesity Rates Rise in States, Southeastern States are Heaviest; National Policy Paralysis Threatens to Make Problem Worse

Transcript of TFAH Press Briefing Call, with former MD Governor Parris Glendening, August 23, 2005

Press Release from Senator Tom Harkin on TFAH Obesity Study, August 2005

California Endowment Study on Childhood Obesity in California (1.3MB .pdf)