Florida Children Just Keep Getting Fatter

Seems like Floridians didn't do too well on their diets in 2008. Between 2007 and 2008, the annual F as in Fat report shows the percentage of adult obesity in Florida creeped up from 23.3% to 24.1%. The good news for those who take pleasure in others' pain is that most other states are getting fatter at a faster rate. We dropped from the 38th most obese state to the 39th. Or, for you optimists, the 12th thinnest state when you include D.C.

We also remain less obese than many of our geographic neighbors. Eight of the ten most obese states are in the South, with Mississippi wedging its way into the top spot with an adult obesity rate of 32.5%. No states lowered their obesity rate.

The real cause of concern in Florida, though, seems to be childhood obesity. The percentage of children ages 10 to 17 who are obese or overweight is 33.1% -- ranking Florida a considerably higher 17th in the kids' division. The last time the report issued numbers for children (from a 2003-2004 survey), the percentage of young people who were obese or overweight was only 14.4%. That's well over a 100% increase. And that's staggering.

The report suggests Florida could improve the nutrition standards of school lunches and other foods sold in schools and require BMI screening in schools.

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