Adult obesity rose in Minnesota last year

Obesity is leveling off nationally, but not in Minnesota.

Minnesota was among the states where adult obesity increased in 2016.

That's the finding of the 2017 "State of Obesity" report issued on Thursday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The adult obesity rate in Minnesota is now at 27.8 percent, the highest level since records started being taken in 1990, after rising from 26.1 percent in 2015.

That means Minnesota is now the 34th most obese state in the country, up from 39th a year earlier.

This is despite obesity rates across most other states staying relatively stable, continuing a recent trend that shows after more than two decades of increasing obesity, it finally seems to be leveling off.

Despite the rise last year, Minnesota is still the least obese state in the Midwest, with South Dakota the only other midwestern state not to have an obesity rate above 30 percent.

An adult is considered to be obese when their body-mass index is above 30.

The Minnesota Department of Health released its own report on state obesity on Thursday, showing that despite the jump last year, obesity rates have stayed relatively stable over the past decade.

The obesity rate in 2007 in Minnesota was 26 percent.

MDH points to several factors that make it more likely people will be obese, including lack of physical activity, poverty, and not enough fruit and vegetables in their diet.

Medical expenses linked with obesity in Minnesota in 2009 totaled $2.8 billion, the department notes.

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