Obesity Rates Rise in Some States, Fatty Food Abounds Everywhere

Photo: Obesity Rates Rises in Some States, Fatty Food Abounds Everywhere: Study Finds Obesity Rates Up in 28 States, Magazine Finds Fatty Foods Everywhere

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."

Video: North Carolina is named the 10th obese state.
study names North Carolina the 10th most obese state

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.

The South is notorious for frying just about anything. For a traditional Southern fish fry, Arkansas catfish is an old standby. When you consider that this dish is often served with hush puppies, another Southern fried favorite, you can bet you're reeling in quite a bit of fat along with your fish.

Fat Attack
Fat Attack

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.

Fatty Food Found Everywhere -- Even in Thinnest State

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.

While this mountainous state is well known for its healthy reputation -- it is the state with the lowest obesity rate in the country -- it is home to one of the most giant burritos of all time. Finishing one of Jack-N-Grill's 7-pound breakfast burritos is such a feat it was featured on an episode of the Travel Channel's Man v. Food.

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.

Yet this mountain state had fat-focused cuisine as well. HEALTH magazine featured the infamous prairie oysters, otherwise known as calf fries or Rocky Mountain oysters.

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