U.S. gains girth, Mississippi leads fat pack, study finds

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Americans' waistlines are expanding, but the country seems to lack the political will to stop it, according to a new report. The findings suggest that long-term care providers can continue to expect to serve generally heavier residents.

Adult obesity rates continued to rise in 31 states over the last year, a report from Trust for America's Health said. Mississippi weighed in as the heaviest state, with an adult obesity rate of 29.5%. Alabama and West Virginia followed. Colorado was the slimmest state with an adult obesity rate of 16.9%. All states thus far have failed to meet the national goal of reducing adult obesity levels to 15% or less by the year 2010.

The report, "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing America, 2006," offers several recommendations to stakeholders. They include: bolstering community-driven efforts that increase access to healthy foods for low-income areas; and improving school-based efforts to strengthen physical fitness curricula and improve the nutritional content on food sold on school campuses.

See the report at www.healthyamericans.org.