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Nearly 25 percent of Arizonans obese
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a quarter of Arizonans are obese. From Phoenix, KJZZ's Nick Blumberg reports.
The data come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, one of several measures of the nation's obesity. The survey found that nearly 25 percent of adults in Arizona were obese in 2011.
Nationwide, Mississippi had the highest rate, at 35 percent. Colorado's rate was lowest, at 20.7 percent.
The survey's methods have changed, including accounting for more cell phone-only homes, so the 2011 numbers can't be directly compared to past years. Still, Arizona's 2011 rate was about the same as it's been over the past several years.
But Heidi Blanck of the CDC says better data will help states and communities fund targeted prevention.
"We're hoping that by having the best or most accurate information -- looking at age groups, race, ethnicity, gender -- and so then their programs are actually able to prioritize the funding for specific groups," Blanck said.
Nationwide, the CDC points out a dramatic increase in obesity over the last couple decades. In 2000, they recorded no states with an obesity rate of 30 percent or more. In 2011, there were 12 states.
Updated 8/13/2012 at 2:17 p.m.