• Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Now every state does.
• Today, 12 states have obesity rates over 30 percent. Four years ago, only one did.
• Since 1995, diabetes rates (long associated with obesity) have doubled in eight states. Then, only four states had diabetes rates above six percent. Now, 43 states have diabetes rates over seven percent, and 32 have rates above eight percent.
To understand why the nation’s weight problem has ballooned over the past two decades, obesity researchers are increasingly looking to our environment. The Orlando Sentinel interviewed obesity expert Dr. Steven R. Smith, Sanford-Burnham professor and scientific director of the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI), a collaboration between Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham. He said:
“Our genes haven’t changed that much in thousands of years, but we have seen a rapid change in the environment, and that has interacted with our genetic propensity toward obesity.”
Read more in How fat is America? New report gives nation an F.