America continues to struggle with its weight. And then some.
Adult obesity rates rose sharply in half a dozen states last year, according to newly released data from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Their latest annual report on the subject, now called the State of Obesity (it used to be F as in Fat), shows that 20 states have adult obesity rates at or above 30 percent, 43 states have rates of at least 25 percent and every state is above 20 percent, with Colorado the trimmest at 21 percent.
As recently as 2007, only Mississippi, long America's chubbiest state, had an adult obesity rate above 30 percent; and in 1991 no state was above 20 percent. Though the rates of increase in obesity are slowing, no state has reversed theirs, the report notes. It also identifies six states -- Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming -- where the rates increased significantly last year.
As other studies have shown, obesity is increasing fastest among the poor and minorities. All but one of the states in the ranking of the ten most obese is a Southern state.
Southerners have some of the most limited access to healthy food among all Americans and the least means to buy it; they also have the least opportunities to exercise outdoors, and the heat discourages them from doing so.