Most of the U.S. Is Fatter Than Us

We’ve all learned, heard and read about it. Most of us fear it, and too many of us have suffered from it.

Obesity - the second biggest killer in our nation is back and we're flabbier than ever!

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health Wednesday released the annual report on America’s obesity epidemic. The study focuses on state and national obesity rankings and efforts taken to reduce the epidemic.

The frightening results showed that obesity rates among adults rose in 23 states over the past year and didn’t decline anywhere.

So, who takes the cake (or should I say, who eats the cake) for the saggiest states?

For the fifth year in a row Mississippi had the highest rate of adult and childhood obesity, 32.5 percent for adults and 44.4 percent for children. In addition, three more states have passed the 30-percent mark, including Alabama, 31.2 percent; West Virginia, 31.1 percent; and Tennessee, 30.2 percent.

The top three skinny states are Colorado at 18.9 percent, followed by Massachusetts, 21.2 percent and Connecticut at 21.3 percent.

Congrats Connecticut. Only 746,524 people in our state are obese!

Despite the fact that ranks put us as the third thinnest state, the number  of overweight people, especially children in Connecticut, continues to increase year after year - a serious problem that could cause parents to outlive their children.

Outside of the serious health risks and low self-esteem directly linked to obesity, an estimated $856 million are spent in our state each year on adult health problems attributable to the epidemic.

Obesity is as costly to society as smoking,” said Eric Finkelstein, a researcher for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on the obesity epidemic. “With the prevalence of obesity increasing by 70 percent over the past decade, the expenditure estimates should be a wake-up call. Obesity-attributable expenditures will likely continue to increase unless something fairly drastic is done.”

No drastic measures have been taken yet, but the state has, in recent years, attempted to solve the problem with legislation aimed at our school systems.

Today’s youth are considered the most inactive generation in history, according to the American Obesity Association. Fifty-five percent of Connecticut high school students did not meet the recommended physical activity level. 

The government has sought to establish nutritional standards for school lunches and better health education programs. Officials have also tried to increase physical education and sports activities in high schools across the state.

So next time you turn on Travel Channel's Man vs. Food and deem competitive eating an art form, think about this deathly equation:

Sugared sodas + 'super-sized' meals + the convenience of fast food + the cheap price of fatty foods - physical activity = a clear cut recipe for obesity.  

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