U.S. Obesity is Up, Californians More Active But Still Fat!

Two decades ago, not a single state had an obesity rate above 15%. Now all states do. (AFP / Getty Images)

It’s summer time and we are lucky enough to live in California. We are a state blessed with almost year-round beautiful weather and some of the most active Americans across the country. So while we all work to be in shape during beach season, a comprehensive new report on the nation’s weight crisis says America continues to get fatter. Statistics for 2008-2010 show that 16 states are experiencing steep increases in adult obesity, and none has seen a notable downturn in the last four years.

Meanwhile, cases of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure that health experts have long warned would result from the nation’s broadening girth and sedentary ways are becoming increasingly widespread, according to the report, titled “F as in Fat,” released last Thursday.

The nation’s roughly 4.5 billion excess pounds still skew heavily to the Southeast, with eight of the nation’s 10 most obese states clustered near the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and along the southern Appalachian Mountains. Among the top 10, only Oklahoma and Michigan — which had a 1.2% increase in adult obesity in the last four years, the largest of any state — are outside the South.

Adult obesity in California, ranked 40th in the nation, held steady. Nearly 25% of adults fall in the obese category, meaning they have a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher.

The state also was only one of two — the other was Texas — that saw an actual rise in levels of physical activity. About 21.9% of California adults surveyed told researchers they had not engaged in exercise or physical activity in the last 30 days — down from 22.8% in the last report, for the three-year period of 2007-2009.

The increases in physical activity in California and Texas were the only bright spots in an otherwise grim reckoning. About 30 years after the United States started seeing a steep rise in the weight of children and adults, the illnesses most closely linked to obesity have begun a dramatic upturn. Diabetes rates in 12 states have jumped significantly, the report found, now affecting as many as 12.2% of adults in Alabama — the state with the highest obesity rates.

These results might be a little scary but if we all make a pledge to change even one unhealthy habit in our lives, we are moving in the right direction!

For more information on the study and for the full article, click here

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