2010-07-08 / Front Page

Report names Georgia’s children as second most obese in nation

A new report says that Georgia’s children are the second most obese in the country.

Overall, Georgia was named the 17th most obese state in the country, according to the seventh annual “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010” report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The state’s adult obesity rate is 28.1 percent.

The report highlights what it says are troubling racial and ethnic disparities in obesity rates. In Georgia, the adult obesity rate was 36.5 percent among blacks compared with 25 percent among whites.

The report also says that in Georgia, 21.3 percent of children are obese, ranking second out of the 50 states and D.C. for childhood obesity. Currently, more than 12 million children and adolescents in the United States are considered obese.

The report also shows that the South has the highest obesity rates, with 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates. Mississippi weighs in with highest rates for all adults (33.8 percent) for the sixth year in a row.

“Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced, and troubling disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, region and income,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of the Trust for America’s Health. “This report shows that the country has taken bold steps to address the obesity crisis in recent years, but the nation’s response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem. Millions of Americans still face barriers – like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active – that make healthy choices challenging.”

The survey also found that 84 percent of parents believe their children are at a healthy weight, but research shows nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight.

“Obesity rates among the current generation of young people are unacceptably high and a very serious problem,” said Risa Lavizzo- Mourey, M.D., President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “To reverse this national epidemic, we have to make every community a healthy community. Americans are increasingly ready and willing to make that investment.”

The study also found that adult obesity rates for blacks topped 40 percent in nine states, 35 percent in 34 states, and 30 percent in 43 states and D.C. No state had rates of adult obesity above 35 percent for whites.

The number of states where adult obesity rates exceed 30 percent doubled in the past year, from four to eight – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Northeastern and Western states had the lowest adult obesity rates; Colorado remained the lowest at 19.1 percent.

Return to top