Florida finally thinning down, says nation's Fat Report

Orlando SentinelAugust 18, 2013 

After decades of steadily getting fatter, Florida residents are starting to lighten up, according to the just-released "F as in Fat" report.

The state's overall obesity rate decreased to 25.2 percent of adults, down from 26.6 the year before, according to the new report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health, two nonprofit organizations working to improve the nation's health.

Florida also weighed in as the 12th least obese state in the country, an improvement over last year when it was 19th.

Nationally, the news is equally encouraging. After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates remained level this past year in every state except Arkansas, according to the report.

This is not a reason to go out and eat a large stack of pancakes, caution experts, who say we're not out of the woods yet.

"While stable rates ofadult obesity may signalprevention efforts are starting to yield some results,the rates remain extremely high," said Jeffrey Levi,executive director of Trust for America's Health.

"Even if the nationholds steady, Baby Boomers-- who are aging into obesity-related illnesses --and the rapidly rising num-bers of extremely obeseAmericans are alreadytranslating into a costcrisis for the health-care system and Medicare," Levi said.

Thirteen states still have adult obesity rates above 30 percent.

Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thus, a 5-foot-9-inchadult who weighs 203 pounds or more is considered obese.

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