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The recommendations of the 120-page report call for:

  • Better federal leadership -- including a comprehensive national strategy
  • Federal and state support for workplace anti-obesity programs
  • Helping all Americans become more physically active
  • Helping all Americans choose healthier foods
  • Accelerating research into ways to promote lifestyle changes

"We have treated obesity as a minor cosmetic problem, but this is central to the rise of health care costs in our nation and central to the rise in preventable disease in our communities," Marks said. "It required a lot of changes to our society to allow people to get this fat so easily. It will take all of us working together to recognize this as the crisis it is."

State-by-State Obesity Rankings

These are the states with the highest percentage of obese adults:

1. Mississippi, 30.6% obese (last year's rank: 1)
2. West Virginia, 29.8% obese (last year's rank: 3)
3. Alabama, 29.4% obese (last year's rank: 2)
4. Louisiana, 28.2% obese (last year's rank: 4)
5. (tie for 5th) South Carolina, 27.8% obese (last year's rank: tied for 8th)
5. (tie for 5th) Tennessee, 27.8% obese (last year's rank: 6)
7. Kentucky, 27.5% obese (last year's rank: 5)
8. Arkansas, 27.0% obese (last year's rank: 7)
9. (tie for 9th) Indiana, 26.8% obese (last year's rank: tied for 8th)
9. (tie for 9th) Michigan, 26.8% obese (last year's rank: 11)
9. (tie for 9th) Oklahoma, 26.8% obese (last year's rank: 13)

12. (tie for 12th) Missouri, 26.3% obese (last year's rank: 14)
12. (tie for 12th) Texas, 26.3% obese (last year's rank: 10)
14. Georgia, 26.1% obese (last year's rank: 12)
15. Ohio, 26.0% obese (last year's rank: 15)

For the first time, the report lists the states (including the District of Columbia) with the highest percentage of obese children aged 10-17:

1. District of Columbia, 22.8% of children/teens obese
2. West Virginia, 20.9% of children/teens obese
3. Kentucky, 20.6% of children/teens obese
4. Tennessee, 20.0% of children/teens obese
5. North Carolina, 19.3% of children/teens obese
6. Texas, 19.1% of children/teens obese
7. South Carolina, 18.9% of children/teens obese
8. Mississippi, 17.8% of children/teens obese
9. Louisiana, 17.2% of children/teens obese
10. New Mexico, 16.8% of children/teens obese

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