Oklahoma ranks 7th in obesity rate among adults

Juan Miret
Hispano de Tulsa

TULSA, Oklahoma – Oklahoma has the seventh highest rate of obesity in adults among the 50 states, according to a report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Oklahoma’s obesity rate is listed at 31.4 percent. Results of the report, “How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011,” were announced in July.

“Obesity is a chronic, progressive, costly disease that is associated with many disorders or diseases,” Oswaldo Penissi, a bariatric surgeon from Venezuela, said while visiting Tulsa. “The incidence of obesity has doubled dramatically in the past decade. More than one third of the world’s adult population has some degree of obesity or of being overweight.”

Hispanics, the largest ethnic minority in the state and in the nation, represent 8.9 percent of Oklahoma’s population, according to U.S. Census figures. Of this group, 30.3 percent of adults are obese. African Americans are at the top of the list at 41.3 percent, which is higher than the national average of 40 percent.

Penissi said that “obesity among children and adolescents is also increasing steadily.” This statement is corroborated by the study, which indicates that 16.4 percent of those under age 18 in Oklahoma are obese, ranking the state 17th nationally in childhood obesity…

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