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Florida's Fattest State Ranking Falls; Weight Doesn't

MIAMI - ( - A new study said that the Sunshine State dropped in ranking from the fattest state list from 26th to 29th.

But it doesn't mean Floridians got thinner, according to the study, it's that people in other states have gotten fatter.

Meanwhile, in the past 15 years, the number of obese people in Florida has increased by 80 percent. National programs have funded grants to combat the problem including Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which awarded Miami-Dade a $14.7 million grant in 2009.

Its goal is to promote healthier foods and drinks at schools and work with child care facilities to increase the amount of physical activity.

Health experts tout healthier lifestyles through diet and exercise, but say education is key.

"People are living sedentary lifestyles, not walking, kids doing video games instead of going outside to play," Karen Weller, director of the Office of Community Health and Planning at the Miami-Dade Health Department told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. "Portion sizes have a very big impact. Restaurants want to give big portions. People get insulted if they don't."

Florida's obesity rate was 14.3 percent fifteen years ago. Now, that number has jumped to 26.1 percent, the Herald reported citing a report.

That same report states Floridians combined obesity and overweight rate was 49.1 percent 15 years ago, however, fast forward to today and that number is now at 62.6 percent.

With an obesity rate of 34.4, Mississippi is ranked as America's fattest state, which raises the question: Which state is the fittest?

Well, according to the study, it's Colorado with an obesity rate of 19.8 percent.

To read the 124-page study report titled F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, click here.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

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