Mississippi is the most obese state in America, with an obesity rate of 34.4 percent, according to Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011."
The Magnolia State is one of a dozen states that have an obesity rate above one-third its population. More two-thirds of all states have an obesity rate over 25 percent. Its obesity rate has jumped from 19.4 percent 15 years ago, an increase of 77 percent.
"Today, the state with the lowest adult obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995," said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH, in a statement. "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's findings show a growing nation no closer to fixing what is becoming a health crisis. Seven states have doubled their obesity rate over the last 15 years, and a majority of states saw their lardy populace grow by at least 80 percent. Over the last decade, no state's obesity rate eclipsed 24 percent.
The increase in fatties has had a noticeable effect on the nation's health. Rates of diabetes have doubled in ten states in the last 15 years. Mississippi's increased to 11.8 percent from 6.5 percent since 1995. The state's kids, age 10 to 17, are also chubby wubby, with an obesity rate of 21.9 percent.
"The information in this report should spur us all - individuals and policymakers alike - to redouble our efforts to reverse this debilitating and costly epidemic," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO in a statement. "Changing policies is an important way to provide children and families with vital resources and opportunities to make healthier choices easier in their day-to-day lives."
Perhaps Mississippi residents can fix their growing waistlines by moving to the Rocky Mountains, where the state of Colorado ranks as the nation's skinniest.