In a recent national survey, 50 states were ranked according to their levels of obesity among their population. The state of Alabama was voted one of the most obese states in the country, coming in at number five.
The data was released by the State of Obesity, an organization that advocates for better policies for a healthier America. On their website, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Mississippi came in at the highest, each with an obesity rate over 35%, and Colorado had the lowest instance of obesity with 21.3% of the population falling into the obese category.
In total, Alabama’s obesity percentage came in at around 33.5%, making it one of 22 states with an obesity rate over 30%.
These statistics are alarming, particularly when are stacked up against obesity rates from the past three decades. In 1990, for example, Alabama’s obesity rate came in at 12%, and spiked to 28% in 2003. Since then, the numbers have been steadily climbing.
Obesity can cause a myriad of health problems, including chronic heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. And it can also lead to chronic pain in the joints due to disproportionate amounts of body weight.
For example, the average person carries four to six times their body weight across their ankle joint when they’re walking at an incline or up the stairs. When a person is obese, this immense pressure only increases, making even simplest of tasks a painful and trying endeavor.
According to WSFA 12 News, Southern states like Alabama have a higher prevalence and are at higher risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, Alabama has the highest rate of this chronic disease in the country.
While obesity is largely a socioeconomic problem, there are small ways to be healthier in daily life.
Radical lifestyle changes aren’t economically feasible for everyone. However, experts recommend taking simple steps to manage weight, such as getting at least 30 minutes if moderate exercise each day, drinking more water, and eating fewer processed foods.