THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- America's waistline keeps widening.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 16 states now have at least 35% of their residents who are obese, a number that's nearly doubled since 2018.
According to the CDC 2020 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps, Delaware, Ohio, Texas, and Kansas have now joined Alabama, Indiana, Kansas and Kentucky in having at least 35% of their residents who are obese. This is nearly doubled since 2018.
According to one expert, the unhealthy trend toward more obese Americans shouldn't be surprising.
COVID might be an accelerator. But the trends are ongoing since a long time," Dr. Mitchell Roslin from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City said. This is due to changes in the food supply and an increased intake of processed foods.
He believes the ease of access to unhealthy, processed foods — often cheaper and easier to prepare than fresh, unprocessed foods — means that Americans increasingly eat high-calorie, low-nutrient fare.
So, said Roslin, "if you go with the flow and are not proactive, obesity and insulin resistance have become the norm." Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
According to the CDC, there were also notable racial or ethnic disparities in obesity. Some states or territories didn't have the data necessary to separate out race and ethnicity. But among those who did, Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., and 35 states each had obesity rates above 35% in Black residents, 22 states for Hispanic residents, seven states were at that level among white residents, and 22 states had similar levels.
Roslin stated that socioeconomic factors can explain some ethnic differences. Real food is more expensive than processed foods. The cost of fresh fruits and vegetables is high. Also, animal products and fish only that can be prepared from natural food are very expensive.
There was no state with an Asian population that had an obese prevalence of more than 35%. However, some studies have suggested that health risks associated with obesity may occur at a lower body mass index for people who are Asian.