Research Group Says US Getting Fatter

August 28, 2007 ( - Obesity rates continued to climb in 31 states last year, and no state showed a decline, according to the Trust for America's Health, a research group that focuses on disease prevention.

Mississippi became the first state to crack the 30% barrier for adults considered to be obese, with West Virginia and Alabama close behind. Colorado continued to enjoy its honor as the leanest state in the nation with an obesity rate projected at 17.6%.

Mississippi also has the highest rate of inactivity at 31.6% and Minnesota had the lowest rate of inactivity at 15.4%. Twenty-two percent of American adults report that they do not engage in any physical activity.

Ten of the 15 states with the highest rates of adult obesity are located in the South. Rates of adult obesity now exceed 25% in 19 states, up from 14 states last year and 9 in 2005. In 1991, none of the states exceeded 20%, according to the report.

Of course, the information is based on a survey of height and weight taken over the telephone – and might therefore be less than fully accurate (studies have shown that men tend to overstate their height, women do the same on their weight – both distort the obesity conclusion).

The survey is online at