Report indicates Arkansas as one of the most obese states

Adult obesity rates exceed 25 percent in 48 states, according to the new State of Obesity report.

The Natural State holds the ninth highest obesity rate for children ages 10 to 17, according to a recent State of Obesity report.

Arkansas ranks seventh in the nation when it comes adult obesity (35 percent of adults obese).

"The report is concerning because while obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, it's a risk factor for stroke, high blood pressure but a number diseases," said Rebecca Buerkle of the American Heart Association in Arkansas.

The alarming data has the American Heart Association continuously working to address the issue through family education with an emphasis on youth.

The Voices for Healthy Kids initiative aims to increase access to healthy foods and promote physical activity.

Access to healthier foods can be unattainable in rural communities.

Various socioeconomic factors also can play a role in lack of healthy alternatives.

"It would possibly take some efforts from maybe lawmakers and schools taking on initiatives to make sure that our kids have the healthiest lifestyles that they can learn early and continue them," Buerkle said.

“The American Heart Association will continue to focus our efforts on reducing kids’ consumption of sugary drinks, which significantly increases their risk for conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We urge states and communities to enact taxes on sugary drinks and ensure that healthy beverages such as water and milk come standard with all restaurant kids’ meals," said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO.

Colorado, Hawaii and and the District of Columbia are among the least obese states.

For more on the report, click here.

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