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Health numbers show Minnesota – like the U.S. – put on weight this year

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In fighting the battle against the bulge, Minnesotans lost a little ground in the past year.

The latest edition of an annual survey released by United Health Foundation finds the state was not alone, though, as obesity and inactivity increased nationwide.

After some improvement in 2013, the new numbers show a decades-long trend toward more obesity resumed – reaching 25 percent in Minnesota and 29 percent nationally.

USA Today notes the survey has been conducted for 25 years and the nation's obesity rate has doubled in that time.

The survey's findings about Minnesota were more positive than most states.

As KSTP reports, the foundation's survey credited Minnesota for comparatively low rates of diabetes and deaths due to drug use, but cited a high prevalence of binge drinking (21 percent) as a problem area.

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A statement from the Minnesota Department of Health pointed out no state had fewer cardiovascular deaths per 100,000 people than Minnesota.

As with any state rankings, there are those who pay particular attention to how Minnesota compares with a certain cheesy neighbor to the east.

Wisconsin placed 23rd overall. A health officer in Eau Claire tells WEAU Wisconsin historically ranks lower than Minnesota in health measures, and says it's likely the product of many factors.

The station also spoke with a Mayo Clinic Health System dietician concerned about how the spread of obesity is affecting the next generation of Americans. Diane Dressel says: “Children learn from adult habits and the obesity rates in children are escalating horribly fast. People need to take a totally different avenue when it comes to weight management."

United Health Foundation put together the survey with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.

Hawaii occupied the top spot in their state-by-state rankings for overall health; Mississippi was last.

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