Cafe Society

Colorado may be the least obese state, but we're getting fatter

Colorado ranked lowest on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2012 obesity rate study, but don't grab for the funnel cakes in celebration just yet: Over the past fifteen years, the obesity rate has doubled or almost doubled in 38 states, and even Colorado's has increased substantially.

As the numbers rise, so do concerns over the health of this state's residents.

See also: -Colorado ranks lowest in obesity rate study: We're still the skinniest state -Obesity rates: Colorado's is the lowest in the nation, making us the skinniest state of all -Non-fat: Colorado least obese state, Boulder trimmest city

Each year, the Trust for America's Health conducts the F as in Fat study using the CDC's data, which ranks individuals with a body mass index of 30 or higher as obese. BMI is calculated based on weight and height ratios.

This year, Mississippi ranked first, with a 34.9 percent rate of adult obesity. Colorado ranked last, with 20.7 percent. Although that put this state at the bottom, its rate has still increased from last year, when it was 19.8 percent.

According to the CDC, its methods for collecting data have been updated to include cell phones, when in the past only landlines were used. This makes it difficult to directly compare the new study with the past ones, but the evidence still shows that obesity is on the rise.

Although Colorado is staying at the bottom of the obesity list, our rate has almost doubled from 10.7 percent in 1995.

The 2011 F as in Fat report shows that in 1995, Mississippi had the highest obesity rate at 19.4 percent, which was lower than this year's lowest rate: Colorado at 20.7 percent.

The rise in obesity closely correlates with a rise in related diseases, such as diabetes. The states with the largest rise in obesity between 1995 and 2010 -- Oklahoma and Alabama -- also had the largest rise in diabetes.

Childhood obesity poses a big concern, too. In 2011, Colorado ranked 29th, with a rate of 14.2 percent.

This year's study also shows that obesity hasn't decreased in any state. If obesity in Colorado has risen by 10 percent in seventeen years, will we be at 30.7 percent in 2029?

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Nathalia Vélez
Contact: Nathalia Vélez