Is ‘Fat’ the New Normal in America?

Posted November 6th, 2015 at 2:25 pm (UTC-4)
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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

“Fat” may be the new normal in the United States, according to WalletHub.


1. Mississippi
2. Tennessee
3. Arkansas
4. Oklahoma
5. Louisiana

More than three-fourths of American adults are now either overweight or obese, according to a report that used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, for the first time ever, there are more obese Americans than there are people who are overweight. Obesity is defined as when 30 percent or more of a person’s body weight comes from fat.

Americans have gotten dramatically fatter over the last couple of decades and experts say there are a variety of reasons for that.

“This is obviously a reflection of a generation of decreased physical activity and changing diets that are not healthy,” said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health. “The biggest concern…is not just the number of people who are obese, but the large number of people who are suffering from severe obesity and that condition is where we see the most dire health consequences and can become life-threatening.”

More than one-fourth of Americans ages 6 and up were completely inactive in 2014, according to the Physical Activity Council. That means more than 28 percent of Americans didn’t participate in individual or team sports, didn’t go to the gym, or camp, or walk for exercise, or even stretch.

“The high rate of inactivity is fundamentally alarming. We have almost 83 million Americans living totally sedentary lives,” said council chairman Tom Cove in a press release.

The lack of physical activity, along with over-sized food portions, lack of access to healthy food, not getting enough sleep, and genetics, all contribute to being overweight or obese.

Source: WalletHub

In the graphic above, a rank of No. 1 corresponds to the state with the biggest weight problems.
Click on each state to see where it ranks.

The states with the most obese adult residents are Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. The fewest obese adults are found in California, Utah, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Hawaii and Colorado.

When it comes to children, the highest obesity rates are found in Mississippi,  South Carolina, District of Columbia, Louisiana and Tennessee. The states with the lowest percentage of obese children are Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Jersey and Oregon.

A new analysis finds the severely obese cost the nation almost $69 billion in 2013.

“The good news is that in our annual reviews, we’re finding that obesity rates have become more stable among adults,” said Levi. “Only a handful of states have seen very small increase in the adult obesity rate. The bad news is that they are settling in at very high rates that have tremendous public health and quality of life consequences.”

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