This report, the sixth annual edition of F as in Fat: How Obesity Rates Are Failing in America 2009, finds that in the past year, adult obesity rates grew in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state. Two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and the number of obese adults now exceeds 25 percent in nearly two-thirds of states. In 1991, no state had an adult obesity rate above 20 percent. In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15 percent.
The report also finds disturbing trends in childhood obesity rates. Nearly one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Mississippi had the highest rate of obese and overweight children at 44.4 percent. Minnesota and Utah had the lowest rate at 23.1 percent. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of obese and overweight children are in the South, as are nine of the 10 states with the highest rates of poverty.
Additionally, obesity rates are likely to grow even more in the next year due to the economic downturn, which has a negative impact on the health of Americans.