A new report says the pandemic has worsened obesity rates in the U.S. According to Trust for America’s Health, 16 states have adult obesity rates at or above 35%.
Those results are up from 12 states the previous year adding the pandemic changed eating habits, worsened levels of food insecurity, created obstacles to physical activity and heightened stress. All of which added to the decades-long pattern of increasing rates of obesity in the U.S.
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The report served as a warning after health experts noted obesity as one of the underlying health conditions associated with more serious consequences from COVID-19 infection.
“As we’re seeing in the COVID pandemic, a person’s underlying health really has an impact on so many aspects of their lives, including their risk of outcomes from the virus,” Dara Lieberman, Director of Government Relations at Trust for America’s Health said. “What that means is that we are less healthy and less able to participate fully in our lives, live long healthy lives and contribute to the economy and our communities.”
Just 20 years ago, no states were over 25% for adult obesity rates. That’s why health experts are highlighting the jump in percentages.
In Pennsylvania, the adult obesity rate is 31%. There was a slight decrease from year to year which Dara pointed out as a bright spot.