F as in Fat: 2011

Adult obesity rates increased in 16 states over the last year and did not decrease in any, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011, a report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The obesity epidemic continues to be most dramatic in the South, which includes nine of the 10 states with the highest adult obesity rates.

For the first time, the report tracks adult obesity rates in each state over the last two decades. Twenty years ago, no state had a rate above 15 percent. Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent.

Included in the report are recommendations for how policymakers can make it easier for children and families to be active and eat healthier foods, including:

  • protecting the Public Health and Prevention Fund;
  • implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act;
  • implementing the National Physical Activity Plan; and
  • restoring cuts to programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

RWJF and TFAH also recommend that the food and beverage industry adopt strong consistent standards for food marketing similar to those proposed by the Interagency Working Group.