Only Mississippi, at 40.8 percent, ranks higher than West Virginia, at 39.7 percent, for obesity among adults in the latest report from the Trust for America’s Health.

Now in its 17th year, “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” was released this week with analysis of obesity in all states.

For the first time, the national obesity rate is above 40 percent — specifically 42.4 percent — reflecting an increase of 26 percent since 2008.

“We see increases in obesity rates nationally, at the state level and across age groups, races, genders,” said Rhea Farberman, director of communications for Trust for America’s Health.

“Americans are just getting heavier and this obesity crisis is getting worse.”

Along with West Virginia and Mississippi, the other states with adult obesity rates above 35 percent were Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“It’s a serious health issue anytime because it’s associated with health complications like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it’s particularly problematic right now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Farberman said.

Obesity has been listed as a risk factor in more serious cases of COVID-19.

In the Trust for America’s Health report, the lowest U.S. obesity rate, 23.8 percent, was in Colorado.

In 2000, no state had an obesity rate among adults above 25 percent.

In 2012, no state was above 35 percent.

“It’s a complex problem. It’s more than just what a person eats. It’s many conditions in their lives that allow them to make healthy choices or create barriers to healthy choices,” Farberman said.