(CBS) When it comes to flabby citizens, Mississippi takes the cake - for the sixth year in a row. But a new survey shows that obesity is a growing problem not just in the Magnolia State - where a whopping 34 percent of the adults are obese - but across the U.S. map.
Over the past year, obesity among adults rose in 28 states, with 38 states now reporting adult obesity rates of over 25 percent, according to the annual survey, released jointly by the nonprofit groups Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
As recently as 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.
Obesity is especially common in the South. It has 10 out of the 11 states with the highest obesity rates, including Mississippi along with Alabama and Tennessee, which tied for second place.
Michigan is the only state in the top 11 that is not in the South.
Northeastern and Western states have the lowest rates of adult obesity, with Colorado remaining the skinniest state at 19 percent.In addition to regional disparities in obesity rates, the survey shows strong racial and disparities. In at least 40 states, Blacks and Latinos are more likely than Whites to be obese.
Poor people bear the biggest brunt of the obesity epidemic. The survey shows that 35 percent of adults earning less than $15,000 a year are obese, compared with 25 percent of adults earning $50,000 or more.
"Millions of Americans still face barriers - like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active - that make healthy choices challenging," Jeffrey Levi, PhD, the trust's executive director, said in a prepared statement.
The survey also shows that many parents, which recognize that childhood obesity is a big problem in America are bad at recognizing weight problems in their own children.
Eight out of 10 parents believe that their children are at a healthy weight, but research shows that nearly one in three children and teens are overweight or obese.
So Americans may know that obesity is a big problem, but are we willing to do what it takes to address the problem?