America Slimming Down? Fat Chance - NBC 10 Philadelphia

America Slimming Down? Fat Chance

Annual obesity report shows a worsening trend

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    Annual state obesity rankings have Mississippi at No.1, but the other 49 states aren't doing so hot, either.

    Results from an annual fat survey are in, and they indicate that Americans are in pretty bad shape.

    The report put out by Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that obesity in the U.S. is continuing to rise along with weight-related medical costs.

    "Our health care costs have grown along with our waistlines,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of TFAH. “The obesity epidemic is a big contributor to the skyrocketing health care costs in the United States. How are we going to compete with the rest of the world if our economy and workforce are weighed down by bad health?” 

    The survey found that baby-boomers on the brink of retirement weigh more than previous generations did. The survey predicts Medicare costs will spike as this groups brings their costly, weight-related illnesses into retirement.

    The rest of the report was equally troubling.

    Mississippi was crowned fattest state in the country for the fifth year in a row, for both adults and children. Nearly half the children and 32.5% of adults in the state are labeled obese or overweight. Alabama adults came in second and West Virginia adults, a close third. 

    Twenty-three states reported higher obesity rates than ever before and not one state reported any improvement.

    While Colorado residents can boast they live in the leanest state, 18.9% of the adult population is still obese. Also, while they haven't slipped since the last survey, they haven't made any improvements either. Massachusetts and Connecticut were close runners up.

    The report suggests that the poor economy, which made healthier foods more costly for many Americans, may have contributed to the national weight gain.