Depending on which study you accept, West Virginia is the fourth most obese state in the nation or number one.

A Robert Wood Johnson study says the Mountain State is fourth in the nation, while a Gallup-Healthways study says it is the worst.

Adult obesity rates have remained mostly unchanged throughout the USA last year, except worsening in Arkansas.

The Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is saying there are improvements, "This is certainly one of the most hopeful reports we've had."

The report says that the average adult hits the scale more than 24 pounds heavier now than in 1960.

The Robert Wood Johnson report says it is a "frightening prospect and an unacceptable outcome" in that young people today may be the first generation to live sicker and die earlier than its parents did.

The latest report indicates obesity is worse in southern states, with Louisiana, Mississippi,Arkansas and West Virginia topping the list.

The report say more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, which dramatically increased risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other health problems.

The American Journal of Public Health says that 18.2 percent of the premature deaths in the U.S. are associated with excessive body mass.

The study found that the adult obesity rate was above 30 percent in 13 states, at least 25 percent in 41 states and above 20 percent in the others.

Indicating how rapidly the obesity problem has climbed, in 1980, the rate wasn't above 15 percent anywhere.

The eating of fast, pre-prepared food and the drinking of sugar laden soft drinks and alcohol by a population that has settled themselves before non-active TV and high-tech entertainment devices, or as Neil Postman wrote in his prophecy-ridden book over 20 years ago, "Entertaining Ourselves To Death."

Perhaps most discouraging is that West Virginia public health officials say thirty-percent of Calhoun's fifth graders are obese, and most of the state's children are not far behind.

A Review Of WV'S obesity problems:

See related story WEST VIRGINIA IS THE FATTEST STATE - Obesity Connects To Chronic Health Problems, 'I'll Never Go Hungry Again'

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