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Report: SD is 24th fattest state

WASHINGTON -- South Dakota adults rank in the middle of the obesity pack in the United States, according to a recent study.

According to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013," a report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, South Dakota's adults tied with Illinois for the 24th fattest. The study noted that 28.1 percent of South Dakota's adults are considered obese.

South Dakota's neighboring states fared better and worse. Iowa ranked 12th obese with 30.4 percent; North Dakota ranked 15th at nearly 29.7 percent; Nebraska was 22nd at 28.6 percent; and Minnesota ranked 36th at 25.7 percent.

Colorado was the least obese state, with 20.5 percent of its adults considered obese. Louisiana was the most obese state at 34.7 percent.

Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent, according to the report. In 1980, no state was above 15 percent; in 1991, no state was above 20 percent; in 2000, no state was above 25 percent; and, in 2007, only Mississippi was above 30 percent.

Since 2005, there has been some evidence that the rate of increase has been slowing. In 2005, every state but one experienced an increase in obesity rates; in 2008, rates increased in 37 states; in 2010, rates increased in 28 states; and in 2011, rates increased in 16 states.

"While stable rates of adult obesity may signal prevention efforts are starting to yield some results, the rates remain extremely high," said Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH. "Even if the nation holds steady at the current rates, Baby Boomers -- who are aging into obesity-related illnesses -- and the rapidly rising numbers of extremely obese Americans are already translating into a cost crisis for the health care system and Medicare."