South Los Angeles may have the worst obesity rates in the county, but on a macro level, California isn't doing so bad – relatively speaking, of course.
Researchers found that 12 states currently have an adult obesity rate above 30 percent: Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Missouri.
Mississippi has the dubious distinction of having the highest obesity rate in the country: 34.9 percent of its residents are at an unhealthy weight.
California, on the other hand, is near the other end of that spectrum: 23.8 percent of its residents are obese, compared to Colorado, the slimmest state in the union with an obesity rate of 20.7 percent.
The executive director of the Trust for America's Health, Jeffrey Levi, said in the issue brief that "the good news is that we have a growing body of evidence and approaches that we know can help reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity."
The bad news? America's not investing "anywhere near what we need to" in order to curb the obesity problem.
South L.A. may be an apt illustration of that. Los Angeles County's obesity rate is virtually the same as California's: 23.9 percent of county residents are obese.
The southside, on the other hand, is looking at an adult obesity rate of 36.7 percent – higher than Mississippi's – and a child obesity rate of 29.5 percent.
The Trust for America's Health's analysis, titled the "F as in Fat Report," is slated for release later this summer. 2011's version can be viewed here.
Photo by Tony Alter via Flickr Creative Commons.