Obesity rates climbed again last year with 28 U.S. states reporting adults are fatter now than a year ago, two advocacy groups said yesterday.


Obesity rates fell only in the District of Columbia, and the groups warned that dealing with the epidemic should be a vital part of reforming health care.


“Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced, and troubling disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, region and income,” said Jeffrey Levi, director of Trust for America’s Health, which sponsored the report along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Levi said the United States has taken “bold steps” to address obesity but the response has yet to translate into thinner waistlines, particularly in Southern states.

Over 25 percent of adults in 38 states are obese.