Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, and declined only in the District of Columbia (D.C.), according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.
The report highlights troubling racial, ethnic, regional and income disparities in the nation’s obesity epidemic. For instance, adult obesity rates for Blacks and Latinos were higher than for Whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia; 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South — with Mississippi weighing in with highest rates for all adults (33.8 percent) for the sixth year in a row; and 35.3 percent of adults earning less than $15,000 per year were obese compared with 24.5 percent of adults earning $50,000 or more per year.
Both the promise and the peril of these trends is that all signs are that peer-group influence over this kind of thing is enormous. If you’re surrounded by many overweight people, that greatly increases your own chances of becoming overweight. Which means that right now we’re in a vicious cycle.
At any rate, it’s really just a coincidence but I looked it up and it turns out that I personally am one of Washington, DC’s no-longer-obese people, having dropped from 250 pounds (BMI 33.9 “obese”) on March 1 down to 211 pounds (BMI 28.6, merely “overweight”) as of this morning and I’m hoping to make further progress.