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CASPER, Wyo. -- More than half of Wyoming’s adult population could be obese by 2030, with associated health care costs rising by nearly 16 percent, a new study shows.

If current trends hold, the state’s adult obesity rate would reach 56.6 percent by 2030, according to a report released this week by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. About a quarter of Wyoming’s population is now obese, up from 14 percent in 1995.

The figures are included in the report “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012.” This is the first year the annual report included 2030 obesity forecasts.

The report estimates that reducing the average body mass index in Wyoming 5 percent by 2030 would help the state avoid thousands of new cases of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Such a decline would also cut health care costs by more than $1 billion.

Wyoming currently ranks 39th in the nation for adult obesity. Mississippi had the country’s highest rate, with more than 1 in three adults considered obese. Colorado had the lowest, at about 21 percent.

The report offered several recommendations for addressing obesity, including fully implementing federal school meal standards, spending more on obesity prevention programs and finding more ways to promote physical activity in schools.

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