Perhaps the numbers have remained relatively steady, but The State of Obesity was published and it’s not good news that the numbers haven’t dropped by much. It’s still a serious condition that affects millions of Americans that has been on a near constant rise since the 1980s.
- Obesity rates have doubled since the 1980s
- There is no state with an obesity rate under 21%
- The top 5 on the worse end are: Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama
- The top 5 on the more fortunate end are: Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated their report in January 2015 in order to assess and inform the public about the worrying numbers of our nation’s state. Since the 1980s, obesity worldwide has doubled, with more fast food chains and sugary beverages taking over the market.
In 2014, statistics showed that 1.9 billion adults around the world were overweight, with 600 millions of them deemed as obese, among which 42 million children fit into either category. It’s an issue that places the population at the risk of premature death due to cardiovascular problems, cancer or diabetes.
Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conducted and published a report that broke down obesity rates by states. They found that while the numbers have remained steady since 2013 and 2014, that’s still not exactly good news. The situation is not getting worse, but it’s not getting better either.
Arkansas was in lead of the top, with a percentage of 35.9% of adults suffering from obesity. The top 5 was completed by another three states from the South, keeping in line with former statistics. Arkansas was followed closely by West Virginia (35.7%), Mississippi (35.5%), Louisiana (34.9%), and Alabama (33.5%).
In fact, 23 out of the 25 states where the obesity numbers ranked the highest were from the South or the Midwest, and nowhere around the United States were they lower than 21%. It’s a far cry from the situation in the 1980s, where no state had a rate higher than 15%. It took merely three decades for those numbers to double.
In 1991, no state across the nation had an obesity rate above 20%, and yet now, the percentages are nowhere as low as that, showing that problem has grown increasingly worse.
On the better end, Colorado ranked lowest with 21.3%, followed by District of Columbia (21.7%), Hawaii (22.1%), Massachusetts (23.3%), and California (24.7%).
The report has also gathered statistics in regards to ethnicity, finding that minorities in general have higher chances of becoming obese. In comparison to Caucasians, African-Americans had a rate of 38% higher, and Latinos also had increased numbers of 26% more likely to qualify for obesity.
There is a long and difficult battle ahead of us as a nation if we want to see those rates to go down, and it starts with healthier meals and regular exercise.