New report on obesity from Trust for America’s Health. The US obesity rate has risen to 32 percent—an increase from just 15 percent in 1980. And 66 percent of adults are “overweight,” a classification that also includes obesity.

But one curiosity gets overlooked: national rates of adult obesity and overweight have risen almost not at all since 2000. (That’s not true for children.) See the charts on page 3 of this pdf for details.

What’s going on? Why have the rates of adults who are overweight and obese hit a plateau at roughly two-thirds and one-third, respectively? Could we be doing something right that’s helping to arrest adult weight gain—something that’s not working equally well for children?

It’s a mystery to me.

Meanwhile, US Cascadians are neither the fittest nor the fattest in the nation….

  • The 10 states with the highest obesity rates are all in the southeast. The trimmest states, on the other hand, are all in the northeast or west. Montana, part of which is in Cascadia, is the 7th slimmest state in the nation, and the leanest in the Northwest.

    Here’s how things break down in the Northwest:

    Adult Adult
    Obesity Overweight
    Alaska 27.5 64.2
    California 22.7 60.0
    Idaho 24.5 61.4
    Montana 21.3 57.5
    Oregon 23.8 59.7
    Washington 23.3 59.4

    As we’ve pointed out, one of the best ways to address obesity, may be to address urban design. We can design places that encourage walking and make driving a choice, not a necessity. And by enlarging options for active transportation, especially walking, we may be able to keep from enlarging ourselves.

    Even a small amount of daily physical activity—just a few minutes of walking—can be enough to stop the slow but steady accretion of weight that confounds Americans’ best intentions to stay trim.