New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the number of obese adults in the United States is increasing, especially among racial and ethnic minorities. Compared to only 9 states in 2018, 12 states now have an obesity rate above 35%: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Specifically for Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States, there are 15 states with an obesity rate (or prevalence) of 35% or higher. This is a problem because adults with obesity are at increased risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. For example, the CDC reported that obesity disproportionately impacts some racial and ethnic minority groups who are also at increased risk of COVID-19. In general, people are less active and are eating more energy dense- ultra-processed foods during the COVID-19 lockdown. This has contributed to obesity. These disparities highlight the need to remove barriers to healthy living and ensure that communities support a healthy, active lifestyle for all.
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