Illinois Has an Even Thicker Middle

Study finds nation, including Illinois adults, getting fatter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Martin Diebel
    Shape up, Philly, according to stats, we're too fat!

    The CTA had better start investing in wider seats because Illinoisans' waistlines are only getting bigger.

    The state's obesity rate rose nearly a full percentage point in the past year according to an annual report released Tuesday (PDF) by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

    Just in time for the Taste of Chicago!

    Illinois is now the 26th-highest state in the nation in adult obesity, says the report.

    And we weren't the only one putting on the pounds. Obesity rates increased in 28 states last year, including Mississippi, which earned the title of heaviest state for the sixth year in a row.

    To make matters worse, only four states—Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and West Virginia—had obesity rates over 30 percent last year. This year, four more states join them: Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

    Here in Illinois, more men than women are pulling their own weight, literally: 27.8 percent of Illinois men are considered obese (a body mass index of 30 or more) compared to 25.5 percent of women.

    This holiday weekend, maybe we should skip the potato chips and reach for the watermelon instead.

    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.