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Obesity Rates Reach Historic Highs in More States

Adult obesity rates increased in six U.S. states and fell in none last year, and in more states than ever — 20 — at least 30 percent of adults are obese, according to an analysis released on Thursday.

The conclusions were reported by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and were based on federal government data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that obesity rates ranged from 21.3 percent in Colorado to a high of 35.1 percent in Mississippi and West Virginia.

The highest prevalence of obesity was in the South (30.2 percent) and the Midwest (30.1 percent) followed by the Northeast (26.5 percent) and the West (24.9 percent), the CDC said.

The new numbers suggest the problem may be worsening despite widespread publicity about the nation's obesity epidemic. From 2011 to 2012, by comparison, the rate of obesity increased in only one state.

The 2013 adult obesity rate exceeds 20 percent in every state, while 42 have rates above 25 percent. For the first time two states, Mississippi and West Virginia, rose above 35 percent. Adult obesity rates increased last year in Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Image: Chart showing prevalence of Self-Reported Obesity Among U.S. Adults by State, BRFSS, 2013
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

IN-DEPTH

-NBC with Reuters