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Minnesota's obesity rate slimmed down last year

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Minnesotans are slimming down, with the state's obesity rate falling by 1.5 percent last year.

According to the CDC, 26.1 percent of Minnesotans were considered obese in 2015. That's down from 27.6 percent in 2014.

This is way below Minnesota's Midwest neighbors, with obesity rates in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa all above 30 percent.

"Minnesota’s obesity rate is markedly lower than our surrounding states and we were still able to achieve a greater decrease in 2015 than our neighboring states," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger in a news release. "By working together we’ve been able to increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for all Minnesotans in every corner of the state."

It was still lower in 2013, though

But while the drop is good news, 2014 represented a big uptick in the obesity rate, so the 2015 figure isn't exactly outstanding when you consider the state had a lower obesity rate – 25.5 percent – in 2013.

Black Minnesotans had a slightly higher obesity rate at 29.9 percent in 2015, but this is still significantly lower than the national average of 38.1 percent.

Here's a look at the country's most and least obese states in 2015.

The state launched its Statewide Health Improvement Program in 2008 to counter rising obesity, by running programs to improve healthy eating, increase exercise, and promote healthy weight habits. Since it launched, the obesity rate has held pretty steady.

"These latest CDC findings confirm that Minnesota has returned to its historically lower obesity rate that remains steady on a year-to-year basis, even as other states and the U.S. as a whole continues on an upward trend," the Minnesota Department of Health statement says.

Figures from 2009 showed that medical costs in Minnesota relating to obesity had reached $2.8 billion.

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