The Clarion-Ledger, 7/18/8

The South tips the scales again as the nation’s fattest region, according to a new government survey.

More than 30 percent of adults in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are considered obese. In part, experts blame Southern eating habits, poverty and demographic groups that have higher obesity rates.

Colorado was the least obese, with about 19 percent fitting that category in a random telephone survey done last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2007 findings are similar to results from the same survey the three previous years. Mississippi has had the highest obesity rate every year since 2004. But Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia and Louisiana also have clustered near the top of the list, often so close the difference between their rates and Mississippi’s may not be statistically significant.