Behavior Change and Health News

Every US State Fails to Meet Obesity Goal

A report released on August 23, 2005 describes a crisis in poor nutrition and physical activity in the United States. Announced by the Trust for America’s Health, the report claims that obesity rates in 2004 rose in every state but one. The report also suggests that government policies have done little to combat obesity.

F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2005 found that Mississippi is the heaviest state (28.1% obese). Colorado is the least heavy (16.4%), and Oregon’s obesity rate (21%) stayed the same. Oregon was the only state not to see an increase in the obesity rate. More than 25% of adults in 10 states are obese—Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set a goal to reduce obesity to 15% or less by 2010. Currently 24.5 percent of the nation’s adults are obese.

“We have every state failing to meet the national goal of 15 percent or less of the population being obese,” said Shelley Hearne, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health. “Bulging waistlines are growing…and it’s going to cost us in years of life and quality of life, regardless of where you live. We can, and must, do better to start to turn around this obesity epidemic.”

Hearne and her colleagues call for individual responsibility and government policy measures to address the problem. Actions such as building more recreation areas in neighborhoods and improving nutrition and physical education in schools are needed.

Senator Tom Harkin, member of a health care initiatives committee, agrees. “This report should be a wake up call to all Americans…All sectors of society—government, industry, communities and families—must do their part to address this growing public health crisis…(Congress) must take the lead to encourage all Americans to lead healthier lifestyles, and give them the tools to do so.”

To learn more about preventive programs that are proven to increase physical activity levels and improve eating habits, contact Active Living Partners at 800-747-4457 ext 2226, send an e-mail to, or visit the About Us page of our Web site at


Reinberg, Steven. Obesity in America Continues to Expand. HealthDay. August 23, 2005.

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on the Nationwide Jump in Obesity Rates. August 23, 2005.

Trust for America’s Health. F As in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2005. August 23, 2005.

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