The number of states with an adult obesity rate above 35% has almost doubled since 2018, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was released on Wednesday.
The CDC reports that ''up from nine states in 2018 and 12 in 2019, the 2020 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps show that 16 states now have an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35%: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware (new this year), Indiana, Iowa (new this year), Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio (new this year), Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (new this year), and West Virginia.''
The Midwest and South had the highest prevalence of obesity with 34% each, while the West and Northeast were close behind with 29% and 28%, respectively. Adults between the ages of 45 and 54 reported the highest obesity rate at 38%, while adults between the ages of 18 and 24 had the lowest rate at 19.5%.
The analysis found that no state ''had an obesity prevalence at or above 35% among non-Hispanic Asian residents. However, some studies have indicated that the health risks associated with obesity may occur at a lower body mass index (BMI) for some people of Asian descent.''
It also found that seven states ''had an obesity prevalence at or above 35% among non-Hispanic White residents. Twenty two states had an obesity prevalence at or above 35% among Hispanic residents. Thirty five states and the District of Columbia had an obesity prevalence at or above 35% among non-Hispanic Black residents.''
The agency concludes that ''to change the current course of obesity will take a sustained, comprehensive effort from all parts of society. We will need to acknowledge existing health disparities and health inequities and address the social determinants of health such as poverty and lack of health care access if we are to ensure health equity.
''These maps help by showing where we need to focus efforts to prevent obesity and to support individuals with this disease.''
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