More than 20 percent of adults are obese in every state in America, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In five states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia – more than 35 percent of residents are morbidly overweight.
And 20 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have a rate between 30 and 35 percent.
The figures, released on Thursday, are a damning sign that public health efforts to improve nutrition and fitness aren’t fixing the problem.
More than 20 percent of adults are obese in every state in America, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Five states have rates higher than 35 percent
Colorado had the lowest rate, which was still a staggeringly high 22.3 percent, up from last year’s rate of 20.2 percent.
The highest figure was recorded in West Virginia, where 37.7 percent of adults are obese.
The South has the highest prevalence of obesity compared to other regions of the US with 32 percent, and the Midwest followed closely behind it with 31.4 percent.
The data came from a series of telephone interviews conducted from 2014 to 2016, asking people their height and weight to calculate their body-mass index (BMI).
According to the CDC, a BMI above 30.0 is classed as obese.
Breaking down the data into racial groups, the researchers found stark differences.
More than 38 percent of non-Hispanic black adults were classed as obese.
In at least 31 states, more than 35 percent of the non-Hispanic black population is obese.
And over 32 percent of Hispanic adults are obese, and 28 percent of white adults are obese.
In at least 31 states, more than 35 percent of the non-Hispanic black population is obese. On average 38 percent of non-Hispanic black adults are morbidly overweight
The data, compiling residents’ body-mass index, showed 35 percent of hispanic adults are obese
28 percent of white adults are obese, which the CDC defines as having a body-mass index of higher than 30
Public health officials are urging the nation to look at Minnesota, Montana, New York and Ohio as examples in a bid to combat the obesity epidemic.
The government currently pours over $190 billion each into health services to treat obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
As the number of office-bound stationary jobs increases, and the population ages, officials warn the situation is only going to get worse unless we combat diet and fitness culture.
Obese individuals are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of strokes.
They also have a higher chance of developing other problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for American adults.