American Heart Association: U.S. obesity crisis hits new high

Health News

Obesity is a health condition associated with serious complications of COVID-19 infection.

NORTHWEST, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new study finds over a third of Arkansans are obese.

The U.S. obesity rate stands at 42.4%, which marks the first time in history that an obesity rate of
over 40% has been recorded, according to Trust for American’s Health (TFAH) September 2020 report.

Twelve states, including Arkansas, have rates above 35%.

Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate of over 25%, the TFAH report states.

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The American Heart Association (AHA) says obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable
death and obesity is associated with increased risk for several health conditions including high
blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases.

The AHA said this year’s concerns about the impact of obesity include COVID-19.

“The data is alarming,” Northwest Arkansas and River Valley American Heart Association Executive Director Serena Munns said. “This really lumps them into those who are higher risk for COVID-19.”

Rates of childhood obesity are also increasing with the latest data showing that 19.3
percent of U.S. young people, ages 2 to 19, have obesity, according to the AHA.

Being overweight or having obesity as a young person puts them at higher risk for having obesity and its related health risks as an adult.

As a mom, that is where it hits home for me.


Munns said health starts at home, so make sure you’re teaching your child about the importance of fruits, vegetables, and staying active.


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