This year's just-released "State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America" report, produced by the Trust for America's Health, delivered the troubling news that the Buckeye state has gone from a ranking of 19th most obese state in the country to 11th. Now 33.8 percent of Ohio adults are considered obese.
Even more troubling is that in the past five years (2012-2017), according to the Trust's research, zero states have seen a significant decline in its obesity rate, while 31 states have seen big increases.
According to the report, the majority of concentrated obesity lies in the Midwest and southern areas of the country. Colorado comes out as the only state with a below 25 percent obesity rate, while the top spot goes to Ohio's neighbor, West Virginia, with 38.1 percent of its population weighing in as obese.
Courtesy Trust for America's Health
Minority communities — often located in poorer areas without access to fresh fruit and vegetables, known as food deserts
— are especially hit hard by weight gains, with nationwide obesity rates landing at 47 percent for Latinos, and 46.8 percent for black people. Meanwhile the national rate for white people is nearly 10 percent lower.
“Obesity is a complex and often intractable problem and America’s obesity epidemic continues to have serious health and cost consequences for individuals, their families and our nation,” the trust's Chief Executive Officer John Auerbach said in
Obesity is linked
to myriad health issues, and is estimated to cost about $149 billion per year in health care spending, the study found. While many factors contribute to obesity, including genetics, medications and illnesses, it's important to note the body positivity movement has not been
proven to be one of them.
The new report isn't all doom in gloom, it also lays out dozens of ways that local policy makers, healthcare providers and even restaurateurs can make changes in the way to approach food and exercise.
Read the report in its entirety right here.