Arkansas continues to struggle with one of the highest obesity rates in the country, a new State of Obesity report released Thursday confirms.
A team from Trust for Americas Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come up with state rankings by weight.
Arkansass obesity rate stood at 35.7 percent in 2016. In other words, one in three adults is classified obese. Arkansas tied with Alabama in the ranking as the third worst state in the nation.
Obesity is defined in the study as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Arkansas previously held the top slot as the most obese state, before falling to sixth last year, largely because other Southern states surpassed Arkansas. Louisiana took the top spot. This year its West Virginia.
Nine of the top eleven are in the South, said Albert Lang, a senior communications director with the Trust for Americas Health. He said the higher obesity rates seem to go hand-in-hand with the states that have the lowest educational achievement rates.
"We like to eat. We like to fry a lot of things. For us, it's very social," said Dr. Shane Speights, dean of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University. In addition to large social gatherings around food, he said Southerners may not get as much physical activity as residents in other parts of the country.
"When I get a chance to visit colleagues in New York, we walk everywhere," he noted.
Lang said the report indicated some stark racial differences among the obese in Arkansas. He said the report found that 44.2 percent of black adults in the state are obese. That compares with a 34 percent rate for whites. Women are slightly more likely to be obese than men, with a rate of 35.1 percent to mens 34.1 percent.
Arkansas residents who are successfully losing weight said they are not surprised that the rate remains high. Weight loss requires a serious and permanent lifestyle change that challenges many people.
Berryville resident Delinda Richardson lost 100 pounds in 2001 and still works to keep it off. She said todays lifestyle leaves many people vulnerable to weight gain.
People are not as active as they were. They are more apt to go through a drive-thru as far as getting their meals, she said.
She added that emotional eating in response to the stresses of everyday life is a problem for almost everyone, including people who arent overweight.
Dont get discouraged about it. Lose a little bit at a time, suggested Fairfield Bay resident Joe Giannini, recently dubbed the King of Arkansas by a weight-loss organization that honors residents this way.
While the state report didnt point to much progress on obesity in Arkansas, its authors said they were gratified that adult obesity is at least not accelerating. Obesity declined in Kansas, rose in four states and remained steady in the others.
Because Arkansass rate rose only by 1.2 percentage points, its considered to have held steady.
I would be more concerned if we saw this trend over a ten-year period, going in the wrong direction, said Speights. He said its important to keep a long-term view of the problem, since, as he frequently reminds patients, the weight isnt gained over a short period of time and isnt going to be lost in a short period of time.
This story is produced by Arkansas Public Media, a statewide journalism collaboration among public media organizations. Arkansas Public Media reporting is funded in part through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with the support of partner stations KUAR, KUAF, KASU and KTXK and from members of the public. You can learn more and support Arkansas Public Medias reporting at arkansaspublicmedia.org. Arkansas Public Media is Natural State news with context.
- The Human Body: A Gift and a Responsibility - BYU Speeches - May 14th, 2019
- Obesity - National Institute of Environmental Health Services - April 30th, 2019
- Home Page - Obesity Action Coalition - April 27th, 2019
- Let's Reverse Obesity Building a Community to Reverse ... - March 21st, 2019
- TPE obesity in the USA. - March 21st, 2019
- Cycling and obesity | Just Williams - March 21st, 2019
- Wired for Obesity: Genes Involved in Development Can ... - March 21st, 2019
- Atheism and obesity - Conservapedia - March 21st, 2019
- The Obesity Nightmare - March 21st, 2019
- Levels of Obesity (Tips.Net) - March 21st, 2019
- BMI Related Disease - BMI Calculator - March 12th, 2019
- What is obesity? - CNN Video - March 12th, 2019
- Obesity & BMI - Our World in Data - March 9th, 2019
- Obesity Statistics - Worldometers - February 8th, 2019
- Obesity Treatment - February 8th, 2019
- The Energy Drink Epidemic - ensign - lds.org - February 6th, 2019
- Missionary Health Preparation - ensign - lds.org - February 6th, 2019
- Provident Living | Word of Wisdom and Physical Health - February 6th, 2019
- Good HealthA Key to Joyous Living - Barbara B. Smith - February 6th, 2019
- Overweight and Obesity (for Parents) - January 20th, 2019
- Obesity - Causes - NHS - January 20th, 2019
- Obesity: The Journal of The Obesity Society - December 29th, 2018
- Obesity: Symptoms, Treatments, Causes, Tests & Preventions - December 9th, 2018
- Obesity | National Institute of Food and Agriculture - November 3rd, 2018
- World Rankings: Obesity Rates by Country (July 2017) - November 3rd, 2018
- Obesity | NIDDK - November 1st, 2018
- National Obesity Rates & Trends The State of Obesity - November 1st, 2018
- Obesity Rates & Trend Data The State of Obesity - October 8th, 2018
- 2nd International Conferennce on Nutritional Science & Obesity - September 24th, 2018
- Obesity and Cancer Fact Sheet - National Cancer Institute - September 2nd, 2018
- What is Obesity? - Medical News Today - July 25th, 2018
- Obesity and overweight - who.int - July 11th, 2018
- Obesity: Causes, Complications & Diagnosis - June 24th, 2018
- What is Obesity? - Obesity Action Coalition - June 24th, 2018
- Obesity epidemic grows in adults; perhaps levels off in ... - March 25th, 2018
- Obesity Is Lowering the Life Expectancy in the U.S. | Time - March 25th, 2018
- Obesity, overweight tied to shorter life, more years with ... - March 25th, 2018
- Journal of Childhood Obesity |Open Access Journals - March 24th, 2018
- CDR's New Interdisciplinary Certification in Obesity and ... - March 24th, 2018
- Obesity ProCon.org - March 24th, 2018
- Obesity | Conditions & Treatments | UCSF Medical Center - March 24th, 2018
- Obesity - NHS.UK - March 22nd, 2018
- Why are Americans Obese? | PublicHealth.org - March 13th, 2018
- Obesity Epidemic Definition, Statistics, Causes & Facts - February 5th, 2018
- About NIH Obesity Research (Obesity Research) - February 1st, 2018
- Obesity: Get the Facts on Guidelines and Statistics - January 25th, 2018
- Overweight and Obesity | National Heart, Lung, and Blood ... - January 22nd, 2018
- Obesity - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic - December 31st, 2017
- Obesity - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic - December 11th, 2017
- Obesity - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Complications ... - November 1st, 2017
- Obesity Facts, and When to Seek Help - webmd.com - October 13th, 2017
- West Virginia leads nation in obesity rates - The Montgomery Herald - September 6th, 2017
- CDC Data Show Obesity Among US Adults Remains High - AAFP News - September 6th, 2017
- Study: Nearly 32 percent of NC residents obese | Local News ... - Winston-Salem Journal - September 6th, 2017
- Connection Between Sleep And Obesity Is Enigmatic - American Council on Science and Health - September 6th, 2017
- Rare obesity disease player Rhythm Pharma sets out in search of a $115M IPO windfall - Endpoints News - September 6th, 2017
- Obesity epidemic at new high, costs $150B a year, hurts ... - September 5th, 2017
- Disease of Obesity - American Society for Metabolic and ... - September 5th, 2017
- Kansas only state to reduce adult obesity rate in 2016 - Dodge City Daily Globe - September 5th, 2017
- Don't blame food stamps for obesity in America - GreenwichTime - Greenwich Time - September 5th, 2017
- More than 1 of 4 New Yorkers is Obese in New Study while Overall Obesity Rise is Leveling Off - WAER - September 5th, 2017
- More obesity operations could help thousands of Britons, surgeons say - Treehugger - September 5th, 2017
- Take a stand against childhood obesity - BizTimes.com (Milwaukee) - September 5th, 2017
- Dietitian hopes to help lower state's obesity rate - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - September 4th, 2017
- Obesity report: One-third of US adults are beyond overweight - WDEF News 12 - September 4th, 2017
- Dust particles may contribute to obesity, study shows - Duke Chronicle - September 4th, 2017
- September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month - Greensburg Daily News - September 3rd, 2017
- Colorado Obesity Rate Increases - Still Lowest in the Nation - Kiowa County Press - September 3rd, 2017
- Apollo bags CE mark for longer-term obesity balloon - FierceBiotech - September 3rd, 2017
- Hold that corn dog. Minnesota obesity is on the rise - Minneapolis Star Tribune - September 2nd, 2017
- American obesity report: 1 in 3 adults are beyond overweight ... - Chicago Tribune - September 2nd, 2017
- Scientists Discovered a Protein that Could Lead to a Treatment for ... - Futurism - September 2nd, 2017
- UK needs to perform thousands more obesity operations, say ... - The Guardian - September 2nd, 2017
- Can obesity rates be reversed? - The Business Journals - September 2nd, 2017
- Do You Live In the Fattest State In America? - Men's Health - September 2nd, 2017
- Early pregnancy weight gain may increase risk of childhood obesity - The Boston Globe - August 29th, 2017
- High Calorie Foods May Increase Cancer Risk Regardless Of Obesity Status, Study Finds - CBS Philly - August 29th, 2017
- ESC: Is Low BMI a Bigger Problem than Obesity After PCI? - MedPage Today - August 29th, 2017
- The obesity myth: experts tackle a big problem to deliver new solutions - The Sydney Morning Herald - August 29th, 2017
- Obesity and Pregnancy - ACOG - August 27th, 2017