Minnesota's obesity rate is on the rise

Paris Woods has her waist measured.
Paris Woods has her waist measured as she takes part in a 20-month obesity prevention study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago in January 2010.
M. Spencer Green | AP Photo 2010 file

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show nearly one in three Minnesotans was obese last year.

According to the CDC, Minnesota's obesity rate climbed from 28.4 percent in 2017 to 30.1 percent in 2018.

While slightly below the national rate, state health officials say Minnesota's increased rate means more residents are at elevated risk for a variety of health issues.

"We know that obesity is a major contributor to many of the chronic diseases that we're grappling with including type two diabetes, cancers, heart disease and stroke," said Kristine Igo, director of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Igo adds that the popularity of sugary beverages and increased screen time have undercut what had been successful efforts at slowing the increase in the obesity rate.

The Health Department says addressing obesity requires individual and community responses, including access to healthier food and changes to physical environments.

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