Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Breaking it down by fat.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control has ranked the 50 states by obesity levels.
Alex DeMetrick reports on where Maryland weighs in.
Putting on the pounds has become a way of life in the U.S. Obesity is a growing health worry.
“We, as Americans, are getting heavier. In Maryland, we’re lucky we’re not the heaviest state, but we’re not the lightest state either,” said Dr. Peter Liao, GBMC bariatric specialist.
The Centers for Disease Control have mapped it out. On the map, green states have the smallest obese populations and orange ones are the heaviest. Maryland is in yellow, with just above 28 percent of the state’s population overweight.
That means Maryland weighs in as the 21st heaviest state.
“The lowest obesity rating happens to be Colorado, and I think a lot of that happens to do with an outdoor lifestyle. Maybe we need to avail ourselves more of that to help us get lower in the rankings of the obesity scale,” said Liao.
Whether it’s a walk through the park or a walk on the treadmill, exercise and diet remain the first line of defense against fat and the high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes that come with it.
One reason some states weigh more than others comes down to insurance coverage.
“The South and Southeast states are heavier and have variable coverage policies. The health insurance commission in Maryland sees that it’s important to take care of obesity and its other diseases,” said Liao.
That means mandating coverage for major steps like bariatric surgery, which some states have dropped.
Mississippi is the heaviest state in the U.S. with nearly 35 percent of the population obese.