By Alejandra Matos

If obesity rates continue at their current pace, over half of Minnesotans would be obese by 2030.

According to a report released today by Trust for American’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about 26 percent of Minnesota residents were considered obese in 2011, a slight decrease from 2010. But that percentage could climb to 54.7 percent by 2030 if people maintain their current health regimens.

This increase may cause over 1.3 million new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, but TAH said about 8 percent of those cases are preventable if people’s body mass indexes were lowered by 5 percent.

The body mass index, or BMI, is used to determine whether someone is overweight. A person with a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

In order for states to help citizens lower their BMIs, TAH recommends measures such as investments in school nutrition programs and encouraging preventive health care services. 

Although the potential increase in obesity seems high in Minnesota, other states, especially in the south, could have rates above 60 percent. Mississippi may top the states at 66.7 percent.

To see the full list of current and projected obesity rates, go to Trust for America's Health.

Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028

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