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Obesity in America: 2009 Rankings Are In

Silhouettes representing healthy, overweight, ...Image via Wikipedia

Just read a report on the state of obesity in America titled “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009“. The study, conducted by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, showed that “adult obesity rates increased in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state in the past year..In addition, the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.” Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia came out as the 3 most obese states (in that order). A statistic I found particulary shocking is that 44.4% of children in Mississippi are classified as obese – a sad state of affairs. I was pleased to see that my home state of NH came out 39th overall, and 4 other New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont) were among the 5 least obese states. Colorado came out the best overall.

Given the lack of a decrease in obesity rate in any state, it’s clear that the obesity epidemic in America is not getting better. This is a huge issue for our health care system given the number of obesity related health problems (heart disease and Type II diabetes to name a few), and lets hope the Obama administration takes steps to improve this as they deliberate on a new health care bill. To read or print the full report, click here.

Thanks to @cyktrussel on Twitter for alerting me to this report.

Here are a few popular news articles about the obesity report:

Mississippi’s still fattest but Alabama closing in. By Lauren Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

Mississippi weighs in as fattest state for 5th year. Doug Stanglin, USA Today

If you have any thoughts on the solution to this problem (and it is a big problem), I’d love to her them!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.


  1. I agree that this is a national issue that needs to be address. I was at the bike shop the other day. I saw a poster and I wish I could have taken a picture of it. I will try to see if I can remember this. It was like a very high percentage of kids riding their bikes back in the 60s and 70s and the obesity rate was the lowest ever. Today – forget it. I guess too many McDonalds, too many Playstations, too many computers and most kids don’t even need to be around that much. How sad ! I do get my kids very much involved: ice skating, swimming, biking, basketball, gymnastic, the list goes on!

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