The Fattest States in America
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions nationwide, and steps are now being taken in both the public and private health sectors to combat the rising tide of rising weight. Obesity, officially defined as excess fat creating to a body mass index of 30 or more, affects almost a third of the nation. This condition is a major health problem since it can lead to a variety of negative conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. In fact, at least 300,000 deaths per year can be attributed to complications stemming from obesity.
A survey in 2010 looked at the percentage of people in each state that were considered clinically obese. Even if you happen to live in a relatively healthy town, the results for your state may surprise you.
- The “skinniest” state, Colorado, with only 19.1% of its residents being affected by obesity, is the only state in the U.S. to experience obesity in less than 1/5th of its population.
- States known for their active, beach-oriented lifestyles, such as Hawaii (22.6%), California (24.4%) and Florida (25.1%), could be expected to have relatively low obesity rates, but Utah (23.2%) and Montana (23.5 %) also have relatively healthy populations.
- Much of the South contains some of the highest obesity rates in the nation. Mississippi leads the pack, with an astounding obesity rate of 33.8%, followed by Alabama and Tennessee (both with 31.6%), West Virginia (31.3%), and Louisiana (31.2%).
- New England has the highest concentration of states with low obesity rates. Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut all have obesity rates in the 21-22% range.
Obesity is truly a problem across the United States, but the health care industry is working to reduce its incidence. A career as a certified medical assistant can help you further understand the causes of, and treatments for, obesity. If you are interested in helping America become healthier, you may want to research medical assistant programs and medical assistant colleges.
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