BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A new study says Alabama is the nation's fourth-fattest state.
The report released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 32 percent of Alabama's adults are obese. That's slightly better than the obesity rates in Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia.
The state obesity rate for 2011 is a little less than the number from 2010, but the CDC says the two numbers can't be compared because it changed statistical methods. So it's hard to gauge whether there's been any real improvement in fighting obesity.
Alabama health officials are trying to get people to slim down. The annual Scale Back Alabama weight-reduction program drew almost 30,000 participants this year who lost a combined 148,963 pounds.
The survey shows 12 states now have very high obesity rates.
Overall, more than a third of adults are obese but rates vary by state. The latest figures are based on a 2011 telephone survey that asked adults their height and weight. For the first time, households with only cell phones were included.
State rates remained about the same although states with very high rates went from nine to 12. At least 30 percent of adults are obese in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
Colorado was lowest, at just under 21 percent, and Mississippi was highest at nearly 36 percent.