Minnesota is 14th least obese state, report says


A national report released Tuesday ranks Minnesota 36th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in adult obesity rates.

The report, F as in Fat by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says the state's adult obesity rate in 2012 was 25.7 percent, tied with both Alaska and Rhode Island.

Minnesota falls way behind Louisiana, ranked 1st with 34.7 percent of adults meeting the definition of obesity, a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, and also fared better than its neighboring states:

-Iowa ranked 12th with 30.4 percent

-North Dakota and Wisconsin tied for 15th with 29.7 percent

-South Dakota tied with Illinois for 24th place with 28.1 percent

The lowest rate was found in Colorado, with 20.5 percent.

Although rates remained level in almost every state in the country, rates are still high. To put it in perspective, in 1980, no state obesity rate was above 15 percent and 20 years later, in 2000, no state was above 25 percent.

"Even if the nation holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers — who are aging into obesity-related illnesses — and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis for the healthcare system and Medicare," Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America's Health said in a news release.

In June, the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease, which was previously referred to as a "major public health problem."

About one third of Americans are considered obese.

The Centers for Disease Control compiled the first evidence of a national decline in childhood obesity earlier this month. Minnesota was one of 18 states that showed a significant decline in the percentage of low-income children who are obese.

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