Obesity rates highest in South

Published 2:18 pm Friday, August 23, 2013

Alabama is now the fifth most obese state in the nation, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2013, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates remained level in every state except for one, Arkansas, in the past year.

However, rates remain high — Alabama’s adult obesity rate is 33 percent, and the state is one of 13 that have adult obesity rates above 30 percent.

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The report estimates that Alabama’s rate will be closer to 63 percent by 2030.

Louisiana tops the list of the state’s with the highest obesity rates at 34.7 percent.

Mississippi (34.6 percent), Arkansas (34.5 percent) and West Virginia (33.8 percent) round out the top five.

All five state in the top five are expected to be above 60 percent by 2030.

Since 2005, there has been some evidence that the rate of increase has been slowing.

“While stable rates of adult obesity may signal prevention efforts are starting to yield some results, the rates remain extremely high,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH.

“Even if the nation holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers—who are aging into obesity-related illnesses—and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis for the healthcare system.”