Report: RI Boasts One Of The Lowest Obesity Rates In The Country

Sep 1, 2017

The Ocean State tied with New Hampshire for the 10th lowest adult obesity rate in the country at 26.6 percent in 2016. That’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the disease prevention non-profit Trust for America’s Health. The report finds that adult obesity rates are leveling off nationwide.

In Rhode Island, the adult obesity rate has increased by 16.5 percentage points since 1990 but has hovered around a 27 percent obesity rate since 2013. Overall, the New England states have the lowest obesity rates in the country.

Massachusetts had the lowest rate in New England and was the state with the second lowest rate in the country at 23.6 percent. Connecticut was eighth in the country with a 26 percent adult obesity rate and Vermont came in 11th with 27.1 percent. Maine had the 26th highest obesity rate in the country at 29.9 percent.

The highest adult obesity rate was nearly 38 percent in West Virginia.

Among other recommendations, the report authors urge policymakers to invest in nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, as well as programs that encourage physical activity.