The fattest and skinniest states
In an analysis released today by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Maryland moved from last year's obesity rank -- 26th fattest in the country -- to a heavier 22nd. Don't fret too much, though: The analysis, released as part of the runup to the organizations' annual "F as in Fat" report, is based on CDC methodology that changed this year. That makes year-to-year comparisons difficult, according to a TFAH spokesman.
Elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region, Washington remained near the skinniest end of the list, at 47th. (In case you're curious, those other four spots are held by Massachusetts, Hawaii and Colorado, which ends the list with a svelte 20.7% rate).
West Virginia, which has historically had some of the least healthy patterns in the country, appears to have moved a spot under the new methodology, going from the second-highest obesity rates in last year's report to the third-highest in today's release.
At least one obesity researcher said state rankings are very helpful in seeing patterns. The future of obesity research will be in small areas, down to the neighborhood, said Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. He even questioned how accurate the state data has been. "People looking at those CDC maps of states always ask: 'Is Colorado still blue?' I say, who cares."
In any case, here's a map to show how the remainder of the country balances:
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