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Mass. has one of lowest obesity rates in nation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Massachusetts is one of 7 states with lowest obesity rates in nation.

Massachusetts has one of the lowest obesity rates in the nation, 23.6 percent, according to 2013 obesity data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was released on Thursday. It comes in just behind Colorado, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C.

But there’s no reason to celebrate too wildly since obesity rates haven’t budged in Massachusetts in recent years despite all the efforts being made to reverse the obesity epidemic.

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In fact, six states saw a rise in obesity rates over the past year, according to a report also released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that relied on the same government database. Twenty states have rates at or above 30 percent, 43 states have rates of at least 25 percent and every state is above 20 percent.

Racial and ethnic disparities remain a stubborn problem: Nearly 38 percent of non-Hispanic blacks reported that they were obese in CDC data collected from 2011 to 2013; nearly 31 percent of Hispanics reported being obese, and nearly 27 percent of whites said they were.

Deborah Kotz can be reached at dkotz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.
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