Colorado obesity rate among fastest growing in nation

Despite increase, state remains leanest in nation

DENVER – Colorado is getting bigger, and not just its population. The state saw a significant increase in obesity from 2015 to 2016, according to The State of Obesity 2017 report. 

The report released Thursday by the Trust for America's Health showed Colorado's adult obesity rate climbed to 22.3 percent in 2016, up from 20.2 percent in 2015. The report showed signs that the national rate is leveling off.

Colorado's rate is one of the biggest jumps the group saw. Colorado is among four states -- Minnesota, Washington and West Virginia -- with skyrocketing obesity rates. Kansas was the only state to see a decrease.

Despite this, Colorado remains the leanest state in the nation. Adult obesity rates exceeded 35 percent in five states, 30 percent in 25 states, and 25 percent in 46 states. As of 2000, no state had an obesity rate above 25 percent, according to the report.

The data has state health officials puzzled as Colorado obesity rates were leveling off in the years before the spike. They’re monitoring the data to determine if these numbers represent a trend and are looking into possible causes, which they admit is a complex problem.

The report did reveal one bright spot: Coloradans are moving more. The proportion of Colorado adults who reported no recreational physical activity dropped from 17.9 percent in 2015 to 15.8 percent in 2016.

The report suggests addressing the obesity problem in early childhood and investing in prevention programs as a way to curtail the epidemic.

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