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What's behind America's obesity problem?

Maybe it's the economics of food, not just the food itself

August 19, 2013
by Mark Huffman
Consumer Affairs

Except for Arkansas, no state saw an increase in obesity rates in the past year, according to the latest report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

But it's small consolation. Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30%, 41 states have rates of at least 25%, and every state is above 20%.

Three decades ago, in 1980, no state had an obesity rate above 15%. Two decades ago, in 1991, no state was above 20%. In fact, the trend appears to be climbing higher, faster. In 2007, just six years ago, only Mississippi was above 30%.

The question is why. What is causing America – and indeed much of the world – to pack on the pounds? Is it something in the food? Too much food and not enough exercise? Or some combination of factors?

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