In more than two-thirds of the states, at least 25 percent of the population is obese. Obesity rates rose last year in 16 states, the report says, and diabetes cases grew in 11 states. No state saw a drop in obesity levels.
“Today, the state with the lowest obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health. “There was a clear tipping point in our national weight gain over the last twenty years, and we can't afford to ignore the impact obesity has on our health and corresponding health care spending.”
The report says healthcare reform provides several opportunities to combat obesity and, by extension, the rise in related illnesses. It calls on policymakers to preserve the law's prevention and public health fund as well as grants for community-based anti-obesity programs.