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Arkansas drops 4 spots in ranking of obesity rates, now 7th highest in U.S.

by Jaime Dunaway | September 14, 2018 at 11:33 a.m.

Arkansas dropped four spots to seventh in the latest ranking of states' obesity rates, according to a report released Wednesday.

After tying for third with Alabama last year, Arkansas' 2017 obesity rate dropped almost 1 percentage point to 35 percent, according to the The State of Obesity report by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In 2015, 35.7 percent of Arkansas adults were considered obese, data shows.

Although the reduction in the state's obesity rate was minimal, the drop in the ranking came as the rates rose in Iowa, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

West Virginia remained in the No. 1 spot with 38 percent of adults considered obese, and Colorado was again the least obese state at 22 percent, the report states.

Data shows that in Arkansas, the highest obesity rate exists among people aged 26 to 44 and 45 to 64. More than 40 percent of people in those age groups are considered obese.

For youth, Arkansas has the ninth-highest rate in the United States, with nearly 34 percent of 10- to 17-year-olds considered obese. The state also has the most obese high school students in the country at nearly 22 percent.

The report notes, however, that Arkansas has state-wide policies and programs in place aimed at slimming waistlines. For example, Arkansas requires all schoolchildren to participate in physical education and requires early childhood education programs to provide meals and snacks that meet dietary guidelines.


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