The adult obesity rate in the United States continues to grow and has drastically increased over the past few years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 16 states have a high rate of obesity, up from 12 in 2019 and nine in 2018. The information is based on the agency's ongoing Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System phone survey.
The agency said at least 35% of adults in the following states are considered obese: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
Delaware, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas were added to the list based on the new data, which covers 2020.
The highest prevalence of obesity was found in Midwestern and Southern states, where 34% of residents are considered obese. Western states had a prevalence of 29.3%, while states in the Northeast had a prevalence of 28%.
The CDC warned that obesity can cause serious health problems and increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes and heart disease. It can also lead to more complications in patients who have COVID-19.
"To change the current course of obesity will take a sustained, comprehensive effort from all parts of society," the CDC wrote in a statement. "We will need to acknowledge existing health disparities and health inequities and address the social determinants of health such as poverty and lack of health care access if we are to ensure health equity. "