THURSDAY September 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) – America’s waistline continues to grow.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 16 states now have at least 35% of their residents obese, a number that has nearly doubled since 2018.
The CDC’s 2020 adult obesity prevalence maps now show Delaware, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas to join Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia with high rates of obesity.
One expert said the unhealthy move towards more obese Americans was not surprising.
“While COVID can be an accelerator, the trends have long continued,” said Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “It is the consequence of changes in our food supply and increased consumption of processed foods.”
He believes the ease of access to unhealthy processed foods – often cheaper and easier to prepare than fresh, unprocessed foods – means Americans are increasingly eating foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.
So, said Roslin, “if you go with the flow and aren’t proactive, obesity and insulin resistance have become the norm.” Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
The CDC also highlighted notable racial and ethnic disparities around obesity. Some states and territories did not have sufficient data to disaggregate the problem by race and ethnicity, but among those that did, 35 states and Washington, DC, had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 35% among residents. black, 22 states had achieved it. level for their Hispanic residents, and seven states had this prevalence among white residents.
“Ethnic disparities can be explained to some extent by socio-economic factors,” Roslin said. “Real foods that are unprocessed cost more. Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive. The same is true of animal products and fish that only receive natural foods.”
No state had an obesity prevalence equal to or greater than 35% among Asian residents. However, some studies have suggested that the health risks associated with obesity may arise at a lower body mass index for Asian people.