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September 01, 2016

Report: Adult obesity rates nearly doubled in tri-state area since 1995

About 30 percent of adult Pennsylvanians are considered obese

Residents in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have grown -- and it's not population size that's up for conversation.

One new report from "The State of Obesity," made possible through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, show that about a third of adults living in Pennsylvania as well as Delaware were considered obese last year and face serious health facts. About a quarter of adults in New Jersey faced that problem, too.

In Pennsylvania, ranked No. 22 on the list, shows that 30.1 percent of adults were considered obese, jumping from 16.2 percent in 1995. New Jersey reported 25.6 percent, up from 12.3 percent 21 years ago while Delaware reported having a 29.7 percent rating, up from 15.2 percent in 1995.

The report also showed that the obesity rate hangs above 35 percent in four states -- Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and West Virgina. No state in the country has an adult obesity rate below 10 percent.

Though, it's not all bad news. Minnesota, Montana, New York and Ohio all reported a decrease between 2014 and 2015, the first time this has happened in the past decade aside from a slight decline in Washington D.C.'s obesity rate six years ago.

"The State of Obesity" also showed that more and more states throughout the years are reporting fewer increases, but instead showing stabilization – another good sign.

“This year’s State of Obesity report is an urgent call to action for government, industry, healthcare, schools, child care and families around the country to join in the effort to provide a brighter, healthier future for our children. It focuses on important lessons and signs of progress, but those efforts must be significantly scaled to see a bigger turn around,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of RWJF. “Together, we can build an inclusive Culture of Health and ensure that all children and families live healthy lives.”

The report also showed that fewer high school students are drinking soda and playing video or computer games while farm-to-school programs are now servicing 42 percent of schools across the nation. To remedy the issue, the report recommends tackling childhood obesity to prevent kids from carrying unhealthy habits into their adult lives.

Obesity can cause heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2008, the estimated medical cost of obesity in the nation was $147 billion while medical costs for adults who are considered obese were $1,429 higher than those with a normal body mass index.

The results of the survey are based on phone surveys conducted by state health departments along with help from the CDC.

Philadelphia was also praised by the foundation after it reported a 6.5 percent decline in childhood obesity between 2006-2007 and 2012-13.

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