August 2010: Volume 36, Number 8
State Obesity Report Highlights Diabetes
A new report from the Trust for American’s Health concluded that diabetes is one of the leading public health obstacles facing the country. Currently, one in three adults has some type of heart disease and more than 80 million Americans have type 2 diabetes or are pre-diabetic.
The report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009,” examines adult obesity and its direct correlation with diabetes. Currently, adult obesity rates are above 25% in more than 38 states. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20%.
The report found that diabetes rates in adults have increased in 19 states; of these, nine exhibited an increase for the second consecutive year. West Virginia had the highest rate of adult diabetes at 11.7% and also landed in the top 10 states with the highest rates of obesity.
Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of diabetes are also in the top 10 states with the highest obesity rates. Mississippi had the highest obesity rate for the sixth year in a row at 33.8%. The state also has the highest rate of physical inactivity at 32.2%. Southern states had the highest rates of adult diabetes. Colorado had the lowest obesity rate in the country at 5.7%.
In addition, the report focused on childhood obesity. In 2003, only three states had childhood obesity rates higher than 20%, but by 2007 eight had this distinction. Currently, more than 12 million children and adolescents are considered obese.
One new trend is that the federal government and many states are instituting a wide range of policy initiatives to combat the obesity crisis.
The full report is available online.