Obesity rates ballooning

Ohio among 13 state with increasing waistlines
Associated Press
Aug 15, 2013

Adult obesity still isn't budging, the latest government survey shows.

The national telephone survey found 13 states with very high rates of obesity last year. Overall, the proportion of U.S. adults deemed obese has been about the same for years now.

"A plateau is better than rising numbers. But it's discouraging because we're plateauing at a very high number," said Kelly Brownell, a Duke University public policy expert who specializes in obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does the survey each year, and recently released 2012 results.

At least 30 percent of adults were obese in 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. In 2011, a dozen states reached that threshold.

Louisiana and Mississippi led the list. In both, nearly 35 percent of adults were obese. Colorado was lowest, with less than 21 percent obese.

It's not surprising states in the South and Midwest top the charts year after year, experts say. Many states in those regions have higher poverty rates.

"When you have a limited income, you have to buy foods that are cheap. And foods that are cheap tend to have a lot of sugar and salt and fat," said Dr. George Bray, an obesity expert at Louisiana State University.

The CDC defines someone as obese if their weight-to-height ratio — called a "body mass index" — hits 30 or higher. A 5-foot-9 person would be considered obese at 203 pounds or more.

The CDC's annual telephone survey asks adults their height and weight. Overall, nearly 28 percent of Americans were obese, the 2012 survey found. That's roughly the same as it's been since 2008.

Another CDC survey — which weighs and measures participants — is considered more accurate. Since the middle of the last decade, that survey has found that around 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese.

The story may be different with children. A CDC study released last week showed — for the first time — slight drops in obesity for low-income preschoolers in 18 states.

Experts called that report encouraging, but note it studied children fed through a federal program which provides food vouchers and other services. The decline in obesity was largely attributed to program changes — instituted in 2009 — that eliminated juice from infant food packages, provided less saturated fat, and made it easier to buy fruits and vegetables.



The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

We are truly a county of fats and fat-nots, haha!


Good one, Hero :)


More like fat and fatter!

Raoul Duke

High school girls can hide being pregnant when they are hugely overweight.


Much like the rich get richer, I think the fat are getting fatter. I've also witnessed first hand that more and more folks are on some sort of anti depressant or other mood enhancer medicine. These too make folks gain weight without changing their diet.


I was thinking basically the same thing. A lot of people eat when they are depressed and let me tell you, lots of people are not happy with their lives. I also think some don't know what to do with raw fresh vegetables and fruit. If it doesn't come in a box, they don't know how to cook.


Re: "If it doesn't come in a box, they don't know how to cook."

Also, they don't eat it if it can't ordered over a counter (or at a drive-through).

Old joke:

How does the Jewish American Princess call her family to dinner?

OK everybody, into the car!


Yes, we are getting more lazy. Across my desk came this report about the closing of a turkey processing and freezing facility due to the reduced demand for frozen turkey by consumers.

"The business is a casualty of dropping customer demand for frozen turkeys."



You know, it really is sad that so many people don't cook. When I shop for groceries, I kind of check out what's in other people's carts. I see mostly processed prepackaged garbage. I cook from scratch. I do buy spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and creamed soups. The rest I make at home. I will sometimes buy a can of something (like ravioli, Ramen noodles) for days when I'm just too tired to cook.

I recently overheard a young family at the store and the mother asked the dad what he wanted for dinner. She picked up a large can of chicken off the shelves. I walked on, but I couldn't help think about the cost of that chicken. She could have easily made a delicious meal for her family by buying some fresh chicken breasts. It would have been a lot cheaper than that can of processed chicken that she was buying.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Home economics should be a REQUIRED course in school for this very reason. I would rather more people know about real-life lessons and math than calculus they may never use.

BULLISDEEP's picture



I grew up in Greenhills, a suburb of Cincinnati and one of 3 model Greenbelt towns from FDR's New Deal. Just read a book on the early history of the town. One of the pictures showed the first HS freshman class: 25 kids, each and every one of of them rail-thin. Fast forward to the late 1960's and I remember my entire elementary school had only one (1) kid who was obese.

It's stunning to realize that so many people don't care enough about their health - or their kids' health - to make better choices. Studies have shown that genetics play only about 25% of the picture. We all know people who have lost 100 or more lbs., so clearly we have a lot of control over how much we weigh. I recently read that 1 in 5 people in America die of obesity-related issues, and that each American pays an average of $450 extra per year on health insurance to subsidize the medical costs of obesity in others.

I feel bad for them, for they will die about 20-30 years prematurely, and don't care enough to do anything about it. My brother-in-law weighs 350 and has a 5-year-old who weighs 95 lbs. already. There aren't very many old, obese people. Barring accident or something unexpected, I expect to live into at least my 80's. I have some good heredity on my side, but I still work hard to be healthy. I can gain weight like nobody's business if I get lazy, but I weigh 160 lbs. because I run 25 miles per week and am very careful about what I eat. I'm a minority in a world where even cheerleaders are chubby and cardiac time bombs like Chris Christie are viable presidential candidates.


I'm a rare case in that I don't have to watch what I eat... ever!! It's not to say that I'm healthier than people who do because I'm probably not. I too jog about 8 miles per week. I'm a solid 182 pounds standing nearly 6'3". Over half of my family is considered obese. It's one thing I've vowed to never be.


Re: "I recently read that 1 in 5 people in America die of obesity-related issues"

It ain't the mortality part.

It's the societal expense of the morbidity, i.e. heart disease, diabetes, et. al. where the REAL costs lay.

Once read:

50% of U.S. medical expense can be attributed to 5% of the population due to acute illnesses.


Agreed!!! And the other 50% comes from excessive overcharging for all meds and services by the medical industry. Did you read the recent feature article in Time Magazine on this?


Re: "And the other 50% comes from excessive overcharging,"

50% for the other 95%? Better scrutinize what you're writing Comrade.


Leave it to Winnie to break it down to money and "us vs. them" mentality. Dope.


"I grew up in Greenhills, a suburb of Cincinnati and one of 3 model Greenbelt towns from FDR's New Deal. Just read a book on the early history of the town. One of the pictures showed the first HS freshman class: 25 kids, each and every one of of them rail-thin. Fast forward to the late 1960's and I remember my entire elementary school had only one (1) kid who was obese."

Processed foods don't help. Back in the 20's they didn't have them much, in the 60's they had some more, but not like now. Just toss something out of the frezzer and into the microwave for supper in front of the TV or computer. Almost all have corn or grains added. What do farmers feed livestock to fatten them for market? Corn and grains depending on what is cheaper. Same for most boxed, bagged or canned processed foods most people eat. It ain't the whole problem, sitting watching TV, playing video games instead of playing outdoors, sitting in front of the computer, paying someone to mow the lawn, all are part of it.


As a doctor once told me:

The "secret" to a long and healthy life is to pick your parents well.


Wanna get the sh*t scared out of you regarding the U.S. societal train wreck of the aging and morbidity of the 78 million Boomers?

Read some of the writings of Ken Dychtwald.



Many say that they will work until age 70, but they won't be able to because of health issues.

Boomers are increasingly going on disability and programs like SSDI are on track toward insolvency.

Licorice Schtick

Fat people don't get very old.


You are 100% correct, Grumpy.


As I've written before:

I once heard the President of Cleveland Clinic state that 70% of illness in the U.S. is caused by three things:

Obesity and
Lack of exercise.

Unless the govt. can force lifestyle changes, money ain't the issue.

BTW: BMI - 24


I hear about it every day, my lady works in a transfer hospital in Cleveland. She has seen people burn their faces because they moved their oxygen mask to one side so they could light a cigarette because their lungs are shot from smoking. Comically the hospital likes them because they are being paid by the government to keep these people alive! I won't even start on the fat ones that take up beds there.


Another unfunded fiscal land mine with aging Boomers is nursing home care.

Currently, the vast majority of residents care is being funded through Medicaid.



But when the gov't tries to force or encourage lifestyle choices, Republicans complain that it's Big Brother-ish.

Even small ideas at reform like Mayor Bloomberg's proposed restriction on selling large non-diet sodas or Michelle Obama's program to battle childhood obesity are met with derision.

Given the costs to us all of not doing anything, I don't have a problem with the government trying to help us all be healthier. BMI 24 is great; you're in a decided minority...


Re: "But when the gov't tries to force or encourage lifestyle choices,"

Not surprised that you're OK with the word "force" in connection with the State in this or any other context Comrade.

What would you suggest, re-education camps, for the obese, smokers and those who don't exercise?


It's so much more than what some of you people are making it out to be. There are many parts to the equation. GMO's, Diet Pop that makes you fatter, people working service jobs where they sit at a desk all day, children playing on their IPADs instead of getting outside, convenience foods, fast foods, etc. What I ask each of you to do is not to judge. Until you know what it is like to be obese or have a constant craving for food that cannot be satisfied. Food can be an addiction much like smoking and alcohol, except for the fact that guess what you just can't cut out eating all together like you can smoking or drinking. People battle this crisis every day with others judging them because of their size. Losing weight and getting healthy is one of the hardest battles an obese person faces. Do you think they don't realize every day when they wake up in pain because of the extra burden they carry both physically and psychologically that they need to lose weight. It's not as easy as some of you believe.


Re: "It's not as easy as some of you believe."

Not disagreeing with you in the LEAST.

One of my BEST friends in HS and later in life was obese. He died unfortunately at the age of 48 leaving a wife and child.

I still miss him. :(

Licorice Schtick

Fat people don't get very old.