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Obesity rates continued their climb in 31 states last year. No state showed a decline.
Mississippi became the first state to crack the 30 percent barrier for adult residents considered to be obese. West Virginia and Alabama are just slightly behind, according to the Trust for America's Health, a research group that focuses on disease prevention.
Colorado continued its reign as the leanest state in the nation with an obesity rate projected at 17.6 percent.
This year's report, for the first time, looked at rates of overweight children ages 10 to 17. The District of Columbia had the highest percentage -- 22.8 percent. Utah had the lowest percentage of overweight youth -- 8.5 percent.
Health officials say the latest state rankings provide evidence that the nation has a public health crisis on its hands.
Unfortunately, we're treating it like a mere inconvenience instead of the emergency that it is,'' said Dr. James Marks, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,a philanthropy devoted to improving health care.