WASHINGTON — A new nationwide survey finds that the District is the second slimmest in the nation in terms of obesity, bested only by the state of Colorado, with both the states of Maryland and Virginia trailing far behind.
Albert Lang with the Trust for America’s Health says the non-profit conducted thousands of interviews and used data from the CDC to compile the rankings.
Lang thinks D.C. fared so well in the study, in part, because of public transportation.
“There is a lot of transportation… a lot of public transportation, which does require some walking to and from and that’s been shown to lessen obesity,” Lang says. “It’s also a more affluent area.”
Maryland was ranked the 26th fattest state in the nation, with 29.6 percent of adults overweight. Virginia rated slightly better with a ranking of 31st in the nation in terms of obesity, at 28.5 percent. The District came in second thinnest in the rankings, with a ranking of 50, and 21.7 percent obesity.
Lang says the good news is obesity rates have finally stabilized. Now, he says the key will be to get them to decrease.
He says the easiest thing is to prevent kids from becoming overweight in the first place.
“One thing we know is if children enter kindergarten at a healthy weight, they are far more likely to exit school at a healthy weight,” Lang says. “Research has shown time and time again it’s much easier to prevent obesity than to reverse obesity.”