Sep 28, 2023 - Health

Iowa ranked 12th most obese state in 2022

Illustration of measuring tape draped around a caution street sign.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Around 37.4% of Iowa adults were considered obese in 2022 — up from 36.4% the previous year, according to a report by non-partisan health advocacy group Trust for America's Health.

Why it matters: Iowa's obesity rates have trended upward for the last decade and underscore a host of complicated issues, such as eating and sleep patterns, lack of activity, genetics and environmental factors.

  • Rural Iowans, as well as Black and Latino Iowans, experience higher rates of obesity, according to the report.
  • These populations are also more likely to endure food insecurity, transportation barriers and lower access to medical and nutritional care.

State of play: Iowa is tied with Arkansas as the 12th most obese state in the country.

  • All of Iowa's neighbors are ranked lower.

The intrigue: SNAP, the federal program that can help lower-income families afford more nutritional food, is one way that helps populations more prone to obesity.

Yes, but: The study points out that Iowa passed legislation this year tightening its rules on SNAP and requiring asset tests, potentially kicking off thousands of recipients.

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