New statistics show that the obesity rate has officially exceeded 35% in 7 states. Natasha Abellard of Buzz60 has the story.

Seven states have adult obesity rates above 35%, a new report finds, while other states have seen their rates swell rapidly.

According to The State of Obesity Report 2018, no state has shown significant statistical improvement in obesity rates compared to the previous year. Only two states – Hawaii and Colorado – and the District of Columbia had obesity rates of less than 25%.

Seven states – Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia – had obesity rates in adults over 35%. West Virginia registered the highest rate at just over 38%.

The report published by non-profit organizations Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also found that 22 states had obesity rates between 30 and 35%, while another 19 states had percentages between 25 and 30 percent.

"Obesity is a complex and often intractable problem and the obesity epidemic in America continues to have serious consequences on health and costs for individuals, their families and our nation", said John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for the health of America, in a statement

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Several studies have shown that obesity has been linked to more diseases, from hypertension and from diabetes to cancer. In May, a World Cancer Research Fund report linked 12 types of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer, to overweight.

It also takes a financial toll. The report states that obesity costs around $ 149 billion a year in directly related health care spending, and another $ 66 billion a year in low economic productivity

The study also showed that levels of obesity were higher among black and Latin communities and low income and rural communities because they lack healthier food choices.

Auerbach said there are evidence prevention programs that can help reduce obesity rates, but require a nationwide implementation.

The report includes 40 recommendations for policymakers, including support and expansion of programs to address obesity and offer more options for healthy food at low -income families where the & rsquo; access to a better supply is limited.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23

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