NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A new report shows Louisiana ranks number one in the nation when it comes to adult obesity.
According to The State of Obestity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, 36.2% of adults in the state are obese. Louisiana has seen an upward trend in obesity levels since 1990, and save for a slight decrease from 2007 to 2008 and 2012 to 2013, the obesity levels are once again on the rise.
Data shows 40.7% of adults between 45 to 64 years old in Louisiana constitute the largest population of obese resident. Adults 18 to 25 years of age have the lowest obesity rate, clocking in with an obesity rate of 29%.
The report also shows black populations are hardest hit by obesity, at 42.5%, while 31.9% of white populations are obese, followed by Latino populations at 29.9%.
Women in Louisiana are more obese than men at an average of 36% versus 33.4%.
The report shows the current state average is up from 22.6% in 2000 and from 12.3% in 1990.
Across the board, Alabama is second on this list, with a 35.6% obesity rate for adults. West Virginia and Mississippi are tied in third place at 35.6%.
The states with the lowest obesity levels are Hawaii, at 22.7%, Washington, D.C., at 22.1% and Colorado, at 20.2%.
As far as childhood obesity is concerned, there’s no data available for 2- to 4-year-olds from low income families or high school students. 10 to 17-year-olds, however, rank fourth out of all 51 states in obesity. Statistics from 2011 reveal 21.1% of children in this age group are obese.
As a result of these high obesity levels among adults and children in the 10- to 17-year-old bracket, obesity-related health issues like diabetes and hypertension are also on the rise.
In Louisiana, 12.7% of the population lives with diabetes, and 39.3% of people have hypertension. Other obesity-related heath issues, according to the report, are heart disease and arthritis.