Obesity rates drop in four states, remain high in southern states, for minorities

While obesity remains a primary reason why people develop heart disease and diabetes, new data shows that the trend may be decreasing in some states.

For the first time in a decade, obesity rates have gone down in the U.S. Decreases occurred in Ohio, Minnesota, Montana and New York, according to new census data released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health.

Though those states saw drops in obesity rates, they don’t have the lowest rates. Every state maintained rates of at least 20 percent with Colorado having the lowest at 20.2 percent, according to 2014 and 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On the flip side, Louisiana had the highest rate of obese adults at 36.2 percent. Twenty-four other states have obesity rates of more than 30 percent. Nine of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South.

Minorities still remain the population with the highest rates of obesity. There’s a 48.4 percent rate of obesity among black people, 42.6 percent among Latinos, 43.3 percent among American Indian/Alaska natives. For white people, the obesity rate is about 36 percent.

Though rates have improved in the last couple years, states continue to implement policies that help prevent children from gaining excessive weight and life-long problems with obesity.