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Report says 1 in 4 Washingtonians are obese

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON D.C. -- A new report indicates obesity rates have went up across the country in 2017.

According to the annual report "The State of Obesity," West Virginia has the highest obesity rate in the country at 38%. About the middle of the pack is the state of Washington.

“It’s still concerning that (Washington state's) rate is 28 percent,” says John Auerbach, CEO of "Trust of America's Health," the group that issued this week’s report.

Auerbach says states with higher numbers of Black and Hispanic populations, as well as low income residents, did worse.

“When people don’t have access to healthy, affordable food, or to safe and accessible places to exercise, the obesity rates are higher,” Auerbach tells KOMO News.

Auerbach says our state has invested in public health campaigns aimed at obesity, but that there's obviously a lot more work to do.

According to the report, there are bright spots in certain settings where policies and programs have made it easier to eat well and exercise. For example, the obesity rate among children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program declined between 2011 and 2014.

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