F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010
New Report: Adult Obesity Increases in 28 States
Striking Disparities Persist; Obesity Rates Highest Among Blacks and Southerners
Washington, DC, June 29, 2010 – Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, and declined only in the District of Columbia (D.C.), according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.
The report highlights troubling racial, ethic, regional and income disparities in the nation’s obesity epidemic. For instance, adult obesity rates for Blacks and Latinos were higher than for Whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia; 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South — with Mississippi weighing in with highest rates for all adults (33.8%) for the sixth year in a row; and 35.3% of adults earning less than $15,000 per year were obese compared with 24.5% of adults earning $50,000 or more per year.
“Obesity rates among the current generation of young people are unacceptably high and a very serious problem,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., RWJF president and CEO. “To reverse this national epidemic, we have to make every community a healthy community. Americans are increasingly ready and willing to make that investment.”
Additional key findings include:
- Adult obesity rates for Blacks topped 40 percent in nine states, 35 percent in 34 states, and 30 percent in 43 states and D.C.
- Rates of adult obesity for Latinos were above 35 percent in two states (North Dakota and Tennessee) and at 30 percent and above in 19 states.
- Ten 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.
- No state had rates of adult obesity above 35 percent for Whites. Only one state-West Virginia-had an adult obesity rate for Whites greater than 30 percent.
- The number of states where adult obesity rates exceed 30 percent doubled in the past year, from four to eight –Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.
- Northeastern and Western states had the lowest adult obesity rates; Colorado remained the lowest at 19.1 percent.