Despite education campaigns about the obesity epidemic and U.S. government reports that obesity numbers may have reached a plateau, a new study finds obesity rates increased in 28 states last year.
Only the District of Columbia saw obesity rates fall.
The annual "F as in Fat" report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation included obesity rates by geographic area and race as well as studies on attitudes about obesity.
"Nationally we should recognize that this problem, while it is ubiquitous, is not evenly distributed," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. "We should direct those efforts where they're most needed."
Researchers found obesity rates in Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas topped 30 percent of the population last year. Previously, only four other states had obesity rates as high as one in three adults obese --- Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Obesity experts say a variety of factors -- from cuisine to climate to economic means -- could push the population in one state further towards obesity than another.
"In a hot sultry climate, you aren't going to be as physically active outside in Alabama as you would be in Colorado," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut. The study found Colorado to have lowest rate of obesity in the country at 19.1 percent.
Katz said considering the "obesogenic" American society, he wondered if the focus isn't on why some become obese but how others avoid it.
Given the amount of high calorie food available to Americans, and a society in which entertainment, transportation and travel encourages obesity, Katz said, "You're the odd man out if you're not caught up in all of this."
Health Magazine recently documented the nationwide culture of excess by highlighting the 50 Fattiest Foods in the States. Click here to see all 50 Fattiest Foods.
The state with the lowest rate of obesity still offered one of the most decadent foods. Colorado's Jack-N-Grill restaurant offers a giant breakfast burrito capable of feeding a family of four or more.
The 7-pound breakfast burrito features seven potatoes, 12 eggs, a pound of ham, a whole onion, cheese and chili, according to HEALTH magazine. Two of the ingredients alone -- the ham and eggs-- have three times the daily limit for fat.
Montana ranked 43rd on a list in which 50th has the least amount of obesity and the 1st spot goes to the state with the highest rate of obesity.