Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 F as in Fat Report Shows Significant Increase in Obesity Rates

According to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, recently released by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, adult obesity rates increased in 16 states during that last year and did not decline in any state. Twelve states have obesity rates above 30 percent, though only one state had an obesity rate above 30 percent four years ago.

The annual report includes, for the first time, an analysis of how the obesity epidemic has grown over the past twenty years. In that time, obesity rates have doubled in seven states and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others. Rates of diabetes and high blood pressure have also dramatically risen. However, compared to previous years, half as many states reported an increase in obesity rates, leading some, including TFAH’s director, to believe that the rates may be leveling off.

The disproportionate growth of obesity and its effects is notable. Racial and ethnic minority adults, and those with less education or who make less money, continue to have the highest overall obesity rates. Additionally, 9 of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates are located in the South.

The alarming increase in obesity rates nationally and the known effects of obesity on life-long health and well-being outcomes point to the need for policies that prevent childhood obesity; promote access to healthy foods; standardize food marketing and nutritional labeling and promote safe, transit-oriented community design. This year’s report includes recommendations for policymakers, as well as an update of enacted obesity-related legislative action in states.

Visit for strategies to prevent childhood obesity, including promoting access to healthy, affordable foods and supporting healthy community design.

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