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WASHINGTON | Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:35 pm EDT  (Reuters) — Corporate America, take note: A new report sheds light on the national obesity epidemic’s regional trouble spots, as well as areas that are successfully battling bulging waistlines.

Among U.S. states, Mississippi has the highest proportion of obese adults at 34.9%, and Colorado has the lowest, according to a survey released on Monday.

Mississippi heads 12 states with adult obesity rates of more than 30%, trailed by Louisiana and West Virginia, noted the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Twenty-six of the 30 states with the highest obesity rates are in the Midwest and South, it said.

Colorado had the lowest obesity rate at 20.7%, ahead of Hawaii and Massachusetts.

“Obesity has contributed to a stunning rise in chronic disease rates and health care costs. It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced,” said TFAH Executive Director Jeffrey Levy.

The analysis was based on state obesity figures provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The survey used CDC methodology that changed this year, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. The analysis was released in the run-up to the annual “F as in Fat” report by the TFAH and RWJF.

Obesity is measured body mass index, calculated from a person’s weight and height. Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

The top 10 states for obesity and their BMI percentages were:

1. Mississippi 34.9%

2. Louisiana 33.4%

3. West Virginia 32.4%

4. Alabama 32.0%

5. Michigan 31.3%

6. Oklahoma 31.1%

7. Arkansas 30.9%

8. Indiana (tie) 30.8%

8. South Carolina 30.8%

10. Kentucky (tie) 30.4%

10. Texas 30.4%

 

The bottom 10 states for obesity and their BMI percentages were:

1. Colorado 20.7%

2. Hawaii 21.8%

3. Massachusetts 22.7%

4. New Jersey (tie) 23.7%

4. District of Columbia 23.7%

5. California 23.8%

6. Utah 24.4%

7. New York (tie) 24.5%

7. Connecticut 24.5%

7. Nevada 24.5%

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman) 

© 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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