For the past decade, it’s been hard to find any sliver of good news in reports looking into America’s obesity rate.
A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health, though, finds that four states saw decreases in their obesity rate between 2014 and 2015. Most other states, including those in the Delaware Valley, saw their rates hold steady.
“Some cautious optimism there,” said Trust for America’s Health CEO Richard Hamburg during a conference call. “We’ve seen some progress in the rates among kids, particularly the youngest. But it is a long way to go.”
Pennsylvania and Delaware both have adult obesity rates around 30%, while New Jersey has the ninth lowest rate in the nation at 25.6%.
Hamburg credits policy efforts aimed at prevention, as well as a focus on childhood nutrition, for any gains.
Still, there wasn’t too much to cheer about in the data.
“When the best state, so to speak, with the lowest rate, Colorado, has one out of every five obese, and nearly six out of ten overweight or obese, we certainly have a long way to go, even in what we would identify as the best states,” he said.
Louisiana, with an adult obesity rate of 36.2%, led the nation, followed by Alabama and West Virginia.