New Health Report Finds Adult Obesity Rates Increased in Six States

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Adult obesity rates remained high overall, increased in six states in the past year, and did not decrease in any, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

The State of Obesity reviews existing policies and issues high-priority recommendations for making affordable healthy foods and safe places for physical activity available to all Americans, such as focusing on healthy food financing, improving nutrition and activity in schools and child care settings, limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods to kids, and improving the built environment to support increased physical activity.  For this year’s report, TFAH and RWJF partnered with the NAACP and others to identify more effective strategies for implementing obesity-prevention policies in Black and Latino communities.

“The issue of childhood obesity in America goes far beyond the arena of health. The growing weight of our nation’s children has both moral and ethical implications that can no longer be denied or ignored,” said Niiobli Armah, Director of Health Programs for the NAACP.  “Those of us who are engaged in grassroots efforts and understand the social, economic, and political implications of childhood obesity, know that we must take action. With the release of this year’s report we are one step closer to understanding what it will take to achieve our collective goal of curbing this growing epidemic.”

Report findings also reveal that significant geographic, income, racial, and ethnic disparities persist, with obesity rates highest in the South and among Blacks, Latinos and lower-income, less-educated Americans. The report also found that more than one in ten children become obese as early as ages 2 to 5.

“This year’s report provides us with an opportunity to hear voices from local communities that gives additional depth to the data,” stated Jennifer White, Manager of Health Programs and Partnerships for the NAACP. “Reducing childhood obesity rates among African-Americans requires a health equity perspective and effective engagement with community advocates.”

Report Highlights:

• NAACP leaders address socioeconomic and environmental factors, particularly less access to healthy, affordable foods and a   shortage of safe, accessible spaces for physical activity;
• NAACP leaders provide increased education about healthy choices and how to make these choices more relevant to their daily lives;
• NAACP encourages leaders to feel and take shared ownership of the long-term success of an initiative; and create models where local, state and national organizations form lasting collaborations, access to ongoing resource and a shared set of priorities and goals.

To read the full report, click here:

About Trust for America’s Health
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. For more information, visit

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About the NAACP
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

Source: The NAACP