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.

America's Fattest States


America's Fattest States (And D.C.)

All data latest (full year 2013). Source: The State of Obesity. Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


51. Colorado

Adult Obesity Rate: 21.3 percent


50. Hawaii

Adult Obesity Rate: 21.8 percent


49. Washington D.C.

Adult Obesity Rate: 22.9 percent


48. Massachusetts

Adult Obesity Rate: 23.6 percent


46. (tie) California

Adult Obesity Rate: 24.1 percent


46. (tie) Utah

Adult Obesity Rate: 24.1 percent


45. Montana

Adult Obesity Rate: 24.6 percent


44. Vermont

Adult Obesity Rate: 24.7 percent


43. Connecticut

Adult Obesity Rate: 25 percent


42. New York

Adult Obesity Rate: 25.4 percent


41. Minnesota

Adult Obesity Rate: 25.5 percent


40. Nevada

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.2 percent


39. New Jersey

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.3 percent


37. (tie) Florida

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.4 percent


37. (tie) New Mexico

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.4 percent


36. Oregon

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.5 percent


35. New Hampshire

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.7 percent


34. Arizona

Adult Obesity Rate: 26.8 percent


32. (tie) Virginia

Adult Obesity Rate: 27.2 percent


32. (tie) Washington

Adult Obesity Rate: 27.2 percent


31. Indiana

Adult Obesity Rate: 27.3 percent


30. Wyoming

Adult Obesity Rate: 27.8 percent


29. Maryland

Adult Obesity Rate: 28.3 percent


28. Alaska

Adult Obesity Rate: 28.4 percent


27. Maine

Adult Obesity Rate: 28.9 percent


25. (tie) Illinois

Adult Obesity Rate: 29.4 percent


25. (tie) North Carolina

Adult Obesity Rate: 29.4 percent


23. (tie) Idaho

Adult Obesity Rate: 29.6 percent


23. (tie) Nebraska

Adult Obesity Rate: 29.6 percent


22. Wisconsin

Adult Obesity Rate: 29.8 percent


21. South Dakota

Adult Obesity Rate: 29.9 percent


18. (tie) Kansas

Adult Obesity Rate: 30 percent


18. (tie) Pennsylvania

Adult Obesity Rate: 30 percent


18. (tie) Georgia

Adult Obesity Rate: 30.3 percent


16. (tie) Missouri

Adult Obesity Rate: 30.4 percent


16. (tie) Ohio

Adult Obesity Rate: 30.4 percent


15. Texas

Adult Obesity Rate: 30.9 percent


14. North Dakota

Adult Obesity Rate: 31 percent


13. Delaware

Adult Obesity Rate: 31.1 percent


12. Iowa

Adult Obesity Rate: 31.3 percent


11. Michigan

Adult Obesity Rate: 31.5 percent


10. South Carolina

Adult Obesity Rate: 31.7 percent


9. Indiana

Adult Obesity Rate: 31.8 percent


8. Alabama

Adult Obesity Rate: 32.4 percent


7. Oklahoma

Adult Obesity Rate: 32.5 percent


6. Louisiana

Adult Obesity Rate: 33.1 percent


5. Kentucky

Adult Obesity Rate: 33.2 percent


4. Tennessee

Adult Obesity Rate: 33.7 percent


3. Arkansas

Adult Obesity Rate: 34.6 percent


1. (tie) Mississippi

Adult Obesity Rate: 35.1 percent


1. (tie) West Virginia

Adult Obesity Rate: 35.1 percent

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For the complete list of America's Fattest States, go to

A consequence is that those states also rank highly in the nation for obesity related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes (you can see those rankings for the 10 most obese states on our accompanying slideshow), and for heart disease, arthritis and and obesity-related cancers.

Obesity-related illness cost the U.S. upwards of an estimated $190 billion in annual health care costs, double 1998's level, and accounts for one in every five dollars Americans spend on health care. Childhood obesity accounts for 10 percent of that number.

Good diet and regular exercise are the basis of any weight-loss program regardless of where you start from — healthy habits to learn young (childhood obesity accounts for more than 7 percent of that estimated $190 billion, although the good news for the long-term, according to the report, is that childhood obesity rates are stabilizing and in some states falling for children from poor families).

We have laid out one simple exercise program that anyone from teenager to senior or any age in between and of any weight can do at home. It doesn't require special equipment and it isn't a boot camp. It is designed to bring you up gradually to a healthy level of fitness and take off the pounds with a daily 12-minute routine (see: How a Half-Century-Old Exercise Plan and 12 Minutes a Day Could Make You Your Fittest Yet; we have easy to follow instructions for each exercise and day-by-day goals).

We also have tips on how to lose the last 10 pounds, how to build exercise seamlessly into your daily routine by moving more at work, and some no-nonsense weigh loss advice from Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt. You can always find more tips, advice and support in our Fitness channel.

For more inspiration read this tale of how a self-described “fat bloke” got off his couch and ran into the record books. Steve Way lost 70 pounds over three years by stopping smoking, eating better, and, as he puts it, “getting off my backside."