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State of Obesity Report a Clarion Call for Action

The latest data show that seven states now have adult obesity rates at or above 35 percent. According to the 15th annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report, from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, adult obesity rates increased significantly between 2016 and 2017 in six states and declined in none.


American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the 2018 State of Obesity report, released today by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

“This year’s State of Obesity report presents a stark illustration of the toll the obesity epidemic continues to take on our nation. A record number of states—seven—report adult obesity rates of at least 35 percent. Six states reported obesity rate increases between 2016 and 2017, while no states reported declines. Adult obesity rates now exceed 25 percent in 48 states. The epidemic continues to put millions of Americans at higher risk for a range of chronic diseases and costs our healthcare system billions of dollars each year.

“The best way to reduce adult obesity rates over the long term is to make every day healthy for our children. For example, through our Voices for Healthy Kids initiative—a joint collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—we have supported more than 100 successful advocacy campaigns over the past five years that have increased access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity for kids and families across the country. These campaigns show what can happen when we prioritize a healthy future for every child.

“The American Heart Association will continue to focus our efforts on reducing kids’ consumption of sugary drinks, which significantly increases their risk for conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We urge states and communities to enact taxes on sugary drinks and ensure that healthy beverages such as water and milk come standard with all restaurant kids’ meals.

“We commend Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for continuing to shine an important spotlight on obesity, and we encourage policymakers, the food and beverage industry, and our healthcare system to heed the report’s 40 recommendations for reducing obesity rates in this country. The American Heart Association will continue to make the case to policymakers at all levels that there is no better investment than in the health and well-being of our kids.”


The full report can be accessed here.


Find your state’s adult and childhood obesity rates here.