ATLANTA (WMBF/AP) - A new government survey shows 12 states now have very high obesity rates.
Overall, more than a third of adults are obese but rates vary by state. The latest figures are based on a 2011 telephone survey that asked adults their height and weight. For the first time, households with only cell phones were included.
State rates remained about the same although states with very high rates went from nine to 12. At least 30% of adults are obese in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
Colorado was lowest, at just under 21%, and Mississippi was highest at nearly 36%.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the figures Monday.
The prevalence of self-reported obesity is almost a full percentage point lower in South Carolina than the CDC's figures for obesity by Body Mass Index, leaving one to wonder if the danger, gravity and cost of this disease is fully understood.
The CDC's state obesity data also includes information on childhood obesity. That data shows one in seven preschool aged children in low income homes are obese.
The childhood obesity rate in South Carolina is between five and 10 percent. The rate in North Carolina is between 15 and 20 percent.
To reduce that rate, the CDC suggests increasing physical activity, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, reducing energy dense food and sugar consumption, and reducing television viewing.
For more information on the latest obesity study, visit the Center for Disease Control's website.
Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this article.