Oklahoma Named Seventh Most Obese State In Country

Thursday, July 7th 2011, 10:36 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON -- Sixteen years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. In 2011, all but one does.

An annual obesity report by two public health groups looked for the first time at state-by-state statistics over the last two decades.

In 2011, the study says a dozen states top 30 percent obesity, including Oklahoma, which came in at 31.4 percent or 7th place on the list.  In fact, obesity rates have grown the fastest in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Tennessee since 1995.

Read Oklahoma's report in the study at healthyamericans.org.

Along with increasing rates of obesity, there also have been dramatic increases in rates of diabetes, a condition that is associated with obesity.

In 1995, only four states had diabetes rates above 6 percent. Now, 31 states, including Oklahoma have rates above 8 percent. Oklahoma stands at 10.5 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 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."

According to the data, 16.4 percent of children and adolescents in Oklahoma are considered obese.

The study is based on 2010 data.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.