STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Well, we’re not as chubby as those in Mississippi or West Virginia. But, we’ve got some work to do if we want to out-skinny the folks in Colorado.
A new study has found that New York state has an obesity rate lower than the national average. In fact, the Empire State ranked 42nd on a list of the 51 most obese states (they counted Washington, D.C., as a state).
But don’t let contentment keep you from heading to the gym just yet.
Though we’re leaner than the national average, nearly 28% of New Yorkers remain obese, according to the 16th annual “State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America” report, released Thursday by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a non-profit, D.C.-based health policy organization.
And nationally, obesity is on the upswing, the report said.
Obesity rates vary considerably between states, with Mississippi and West Virginia having the highest level of adult obesity in the nation at 39.5% and Colorado having the lowest rate at 23.0%, the report said.
Looks like we’re also outweighing our neighbor, New Jersey, literally.
The Garden State (25.7%) was way down on the list, tied with Massachusetts for 47th place. The only leaner state populations were those of Hawaii (24.9%), the nation’s capital (24.7%) and Colorado (23%).
The report, based in part on newly released national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and analysis by TFAH, provided an annual snapshot of obesity rates nationwide. It was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Obesity has serious health consequences, including increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and many types of cancers. Obesity is estimated to increase national healthcare spending by $149 million annually (about half of which is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid), and being overweight or obese is the most common reason young adults are ineligible for military service., TFAH said in announcing the findings.
“These latest data shout that our national obesity crisis is getting worse,” said John Auerbach, president and CEO of TFAH. “They tell us that almost 50 years into the upward curve of obesity rates, we haven’t yet found the right mix of programs to stop the epidemic.”
The report highlights the fundamental changes needed in the social and economic conditions that make it challenging for people to eat healthy foods and get sufficient exercise. Individuals with lower incomes are more at risk, it said.
State-by-state rates of adult obesity (highest to lowest)
Tie: Mississippi and West Virginia (39.5%), 3. Arkansas (37.1%), 4. Louisiana (36.8%), 5. Kentucky (36.6%), 6. Alabama (36.2%), 7. Iowa (35.3%), 8. North Dakota (35.1%), 9. Missouri, (35.0%), 10. -Tie: Oklahoma and Texas (34.8%), 12. – Tie: Kansas and Tennessee (34.4%), 14. South Carolina (34.3%), 15. -Tie: Indiana and Nebraska (34.1%), 17. Ohio (34.0%), 18. Delaware (33.5%), 19 -Tie: Michigan, North Carolina (33.0%), 21. Georgia (32.5%), 22. New Mexico (32.3%), 23. Wisconsin (32.0%), 24. Illinois (31.8%), 25. -Tie: Maryland and Pennsylvania (30.9%), 27. Florida (30.7%), 28 -Tie: Maine and Virginia (30.4%), 30.Tie: Minnesota and South Dakota (30.1%), 32. Oregon (29.9%), 33. New Hampshire (29.6%), 34. Three-way Tie: Alaska, Arizona and Nevada (29.5%), 37. Wyoming (29.0%), 38. Washington (28.7%), 39. Idaho (28.4%), 40. Utah (27.8%), 41. Rhode Island (27.7%), 42. New York (27.6%), 43. Vermont (27.5%), 44. Connecticut (27.4%),45. Montana (26.9%), 46. California (25.8%), 47. -Tie: Massachusetts and New Jersey (25.7%), 49. Hawaii (24.9%), 50. District of Columbia (24.7%), 51. Colorado (23.0%).