CDC ranks Tennessee obesity rates 15th in country

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- 35 percent of us are obese says a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; that's nearly 78 million Americans.

Tennessee's obesity rate of 29.2 percent ties with Virginia for the 15th highest rate in the country for 2011.

It's a slight improvement from 2010's number when nearly 30 percent of Tennesseans were obese. However, a different way of collecting the newest data makes the two years not comparable.

Stephanie Welch from the Knox County Health Department explains "Before 2011, the survey was conducted using only phone line numbers however, they used cell phone and land line numbers for this year's data. Therefore, data prior to 2010 is not comparable with the data collected after 2010."

Basically, the 2 percent drop doesn't mean we're getting thinner and healthier in Tennessee.

"If the data was comparable with 2010 it would mean a slight decrease but since we can't compare the two all we can say is it's really not all that much different about 30 percent of our population is considered obese." said Welch

The Knox County Health Department is working with the state to try and lower those percentages by setting goals.

Welch said "Our first goal was to just reverse the trend of an alarming increase in obesity and over the past couple of years we've seen that trend level off."

It's a start but there's still more to do to get the state healthy!

Here's a look at some of the other numbers from the survey:

1. Mississippi (34.9%)

2. Louisiana (33.4%)

3. West Virginia (32.4%)

4. Alabama (32.0%)

5. Michigan (31.3%)

6. Oklahoma (31.1%)

7. Arkansas (30.9%)

8-9. Indiana and South Carolina (30.8%)

10-11. Kentucky and Texas (30.4%)

12. Missouri (30.3%)

13-14. Kansas and Ohio (29.6%)

15-16. Tennessee and Virginia (29.2%)

For a more in-depth look on the survey data; please visit the CDC link below.


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