Fattest States In 2011

By: Pat Prescott
Published: Jul 8, 2021

The nonprofit Trust for America’s Health organization has come out with its annual report of America’s obesity epidemic. According to the report, Mississippi is the country’s fattest state for the seventh year in a row. No state in the report decreased its level of obesity.

Colorado, a playground for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, is the nation’s thinnest. The nation is getting bigger and bigger every year. And looking at state-by-state statistics over the last 15 years, the groups found exponential waistline growth. Colorado, with 19.8 percent of adults considered obese according to 2010 data, would have been the nation’s fattest state in 1995.

“When you look at it year by year, the changes are incremental,” says Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, which writes the report with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “When you look at it by a generation you see how we got into this problem.”

The study says a dozen states topped 30 percent obesity in 2010, most of them in the South. Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee and Louisiana were close behind Mississippi. Just five years ago, in 2006, Mississippi was the only state above 30 percent. Jim Marks of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said the numbers have skyrocketed over the last couple of decades because of the growth of portion sizes and the ready availability of unhealthy foods. Schools have ditched physical education programs, and school lunches have gotten less healthy.

There was a bit of good news in the report: Sixteen states reported increases in their obesity rates, down from 28 states that reported increases last year. Levi says those increases have been gradually slowing, most likely due to greater public awareness of health issues and government attempts to give schools and shoppers better access to healthier foods.

“We’re leveling off to some degree at an unacceptably high level,” Levi said.

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