States are Getting Wider

Obesity rates increase in 16 states

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The obesity epidemic is a hot topic and continues to get hotter. Obesity rates have not been declining and it's literally a huge problem.

Obesity is one of the top causes of chronic disease plaguing the United States, leading to certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Despite all the publicity and attention the obesity epidemic receives, the efforts aren't enough because healthcare costs continue to skyrocket for everyone – individuals and the government.

"Obesity is life threatening; focus on exercise and nutrition."

In the past year alone,16 states have had increased obesity rates, while no state has seen a decline, according to a report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Here are some other disturbing trends the report documented:

  • Four years ago, one state had an obesity rate above 30 percent; now there are 12.
  • In 1995 no states had an obesity rate above 15 percent.
  • Today, 38 states have obesity rates of more than 25 percent.
  • Only one state remains with an obesity rate lower than 20 percent – Colorado.

As obesity rates increase, so do health problems like diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure):

  • In the past 20 years, diabetes rates in eight states have doubled.
  • Almost all states – 47 to be exact – have diabetes rates over 7 percent.
  • In 1995, only four states had diabetes rates over 6 percent.
  • Every state in the U.S. has hypertension rates above 20 percent, compared to 37 states in 1995.

With these astonishing statistics, it is important that not only policy makers, but individuals and healthcare providers, redouble their efforts, says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO.

Changing policies to provide greater access to healthy affordable foods will help families live healthier lifestyles, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey concludes.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 9, 2011
Last Updated:
July 13, 2011