Report: Nation's Obesity Epidemic Worsening

Tuesday, September 27th 2022, 2:16 pm

By: CBS News

Obesity rates are climbing nationwide and within certain population groups. The State Of Obesity 2022 report from Trust for America's Health shows 19 states now have adult obesity rates over 35%. That's up from 16 states in 2021.

“Just a decade ago, no state in the country had an adult obesity rate above 35%. And these trends are also concerning among our youth and children. Nearly 20% have obesity,” says Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, president & CEO for Trust for America's Health.

Obesity raises the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Obesity also increases the risk of other conditions such as arthritis and sleep apnea. “Obesity can be prevented. It can be treated and managed. But yet we as a country haven't really put the investment in to truly address the crisis at the magnitude that is,” Dr. Gracia says.

Another concerning trend, certain communities of color have higher rates of obesity as well as some areas where incomes are low.

“It's really important to understand that these are driven by longstanding inequities that we see in social and economic conditions in these communities. For example, factors such as poverty and such as food insecurity, housing instability, having less access to quality health care, and root causes of structural racism and discrimination,” Dr. Gracia says.

Dr. Gracia adds that addressing this crisis will require new policies and programs at all levels to promote healthy eating and physical activity.


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