Colorado ranked as the leanest state with 16.9 percent of citizens considered obese, while Mississippi ranked as the most obese state with a 29.5 percent obesity rate, followed by Alabama and West Virginia. Only one state -- Nevada -- reported a decrease in obesity levels.
Trust for America's Health has recommended that the government, employers and the food and beverage industry take action to cut high rates of obesity -- which cost billions of dollars a year to treat. The organization's recommendations include employers offering employees benefits to stay healthy, such as gym memberships or nutrition counseling; government fitness screenings of Medicaid recipients, with subsidies or reimbursements for participation in fitness programs; local governments approving more zoning for walking or biking paths to stores or workplaces; and the food and beverage industry more clearly labeling nutrition information based on product size, rather than serving size, since many products have two to three servings in a single package.
Dr. Janet Collins of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says government agencies should take action to help citizens fight obesity, much in the way the government has taken steps to curb smoking.
"It's time to get real about halting obesity," said Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and author of Natural Appetite Suppressants for Safe, Effective Weight Loss. "And that means banning junk food and soda advertising, removing vending machines from public schools, and telling the public the truth about foods that promote obesity such as sugar, white flour, high-fructose corn syrup and saturated animal fat," he said.
"But government regulators have been so utterly corrupted by business interests that they protect private industry rather than public health," Adams explained. "Until we stop the legal bribery of politicians through corporate campaign contributions, we'll never see serious action on protecting Americans from the predatory marketing practices of food and beverage companies."
Trust for America's Health reports that the government could save $5.6 billion per year on heart disease treatment if just 10 percent of Americans would walk regularly.