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Obesity rates are on the rise across the U.S.

July 1, 2009 | 11:52 am

Americans are fat and getting fatter, according to a new report that finds that adults and children in the U.S. continue to pack on the pounds.

Jnk4nukn Adult obesity went up in 23 states, according to the report released today by advocacy groups Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. If that weren't bad enough, in 30 states, the percentage of overweight or obese children is at or above 30%.

Take a bow, Mississippi, you're No. 1 for the fifth year in a row, with an adult obesity rate of 32.5%. Colorado ranks lowest at 18.9%. And California is in 41st place with 23.6%. Mississippi also holds the No. 1 spot for obese and overweight children ages 10 to 17, with a rate of 44.4%. Ouch. Utah and Minnesota tied for the bottom spot at 23.1%, and California is in 28th place at 30.5%. Southern states take a hit, accounting for eight out of the top 10 states ranked highest for adult obesity.

The report, titled "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009," also found that no states had a decrease in obesity rates, but 16 had rates go up for the second year in a row, and 11 saw rates increase for the third year in a row.

But some states are reacting to the crisis. According to the report, more have set nutritional standards for meals and snacks served at schools, and a greater number also require body mass index screenings of kids and teens or have passed laws requiring schools to do weight assessments.

Yet clearly more needs to be done. The report's National Strategy to Combat Obesity recommends increasing the availability of affordable, healthful foods everywhere; limiting screen time; and giving healthy foods and beverages to schoolchildren.

-- Jeannine Stein

Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images