Regional Obesity Comparisons Shift During Pandemic

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Regional obesity
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Regional obesity rates grew further apart during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

From 2019 to March 2020, adult obesity rates ranged from a low of 36.7 percent in the West to the highest rate at 43.1 percent in the South, a 6.4-percentage point difference. The regional differences expanded to 7.2 percentage points during the first year of the pandemic, from a low of 37.4 percent in the Northeast to a high of 44.6 percent in the Midwest. The West had the lowest adult obesity rate before the pandemic but experienced the largest increase of any region during the first year, a 2.8-percentage point increase.

The obesity rate increase in the West was nearly twice that in the South, which had the highest regional obesity rate before the pandemic. The Midwest had the second-highest rate before the pandemic, but increased nearly twice as much as the South, emerging as the region with the highest obesity rate as of March 2021.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

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Regional Obesity Comparisons Shift During Pandemic

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.