Although still high, US adult obesity rates remained mostly steady this past year, according to “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” a report issued Sept. 21 by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The annual report found adult obesity rates increased in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah in 2014. Rates of obesity exceeded 35% in three states, were at or above 30% in 22 states, at or above 25% in 45 states and were not below 20% in any state.
By comparison, during 2012, the rate of adult obesity exceeded 30% in 13 states, while 41 states had rates of at least 25%. Every state was above 20% during 2012.
As recently as 1991, no state had an obesity rate of more than 20%, and in 2000 no state was above 25%. In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15%. Now, the national average of obese adults is above 30%.
Arkansas, at 35.9%, surpassed West Virginia (35.7%) and Mississippi (35.5%) to claim the top spot among worst rated states for adult obesity. Other states exceeding the 30% rate were Louisiana (34.9%), Alabama (33.5%), Oklahoma (33%), Indiana (32.7%), Ohio (32.6%), North Dakota (32.2%), South Carolina (32.1%), Texas (31.9%), Kentucky (31.6%), Kansas (31.3%), Tennessee (31.2%), Wisconsin (31.2%), Iowa (30.9%), Delaware (30.7%), Michigan (30.7%), Georgia (30.5%), Missouri (30.2%), Pennsylvania (30.2%) and Nebraska (30.2%).
Colorado once again was the best, coming in at 21.3% for a third straight year. The District of Columbia was the only other area below 22%, at 21.7%.