F as in Fat

How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2008

This fifth annual report recently released by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, reports that the rates of obesity in the United States have grown in 37 states. TFAH conducted a state-by-state analysis of adult obesity rates and reviewed some of the federal and state programs designed to combat the epidemic. Although many promising programs have emerged in communities to promote healthy eating and exercise, they are not preventing the spread of obesity.

More than 25 percent of adults are obese in 28 states, while more than 20 percent of adults are obese in every state except Colorado. Moreover, not one state showed a decrease in numbers of obese people. States with some of the highest rates of adult obesity included: Mississippi (37%); West Virginia (30.6%); Alabama (30.1%); Louisiana (29.5%); and South Carolina (29.2%). Among the states that showed a significant increase for three years in a row were: Mississippi; South Carolina; Kentucky; Oklahoma; and Missouri.

The report’s authors recommend that the federal government convene a partnership of state and local governments, businesses, communities and schools to implement a national strategy to tackle obesity.

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