85 percent of Americans believe that obesity is an epidemic, according to the fourth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2007 report from the Trust for America?s Health (TFAH).
Twenty-two states experienced an increase for the second year in a row; no states decreased.
Mississippi topped the list with the highest rate of adult obesity in the country for the third year in a row, and is the first state to reach a rate of over 30 percent (at 30.6 percent).
Colorado was the leanest state again this year, however, its adult obesity rate increased over the past year (from 16.9 to 17.6 percent).
Ten of the 15 states with the highest rates of adult obesity are located in the South. Rates of adult obesity now exceed 25 percent in 19 states, an increase from 14 states last year and 9 in 2005. In 1991, none of the states exceeded 20 percent.
The report also finds that rates of overweight children (ages 10 to 17) ranged from a high of 22.8 percent in Washington, D.C. to a low of 8.5 percent in Utah. Eight of the ten states with the highest rates of overweight children were in the South.
?There has been a breakthrough in terms of drawing attention to the obesity epidemic. Now, we need a breakthrough in terms of policies and results,? said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. ?Poor nutrition and physical inactivity are robbing America of our health and productivity.?
The F as in Fat report contains rankings of state obesity rates and a review of federal and state government policies aimed at reducing or preventing obesity.