The latest figures for 2017 show 28.4 percent of Minnesota adults are considered obese — just under a one-point increase from the year before but still lower than any surrounding state.

Kristine Igo with the Minnesota Department of Health said, “I think we’re making great progress across Minnesota. We’ve put the brakes on the rising rates better than our neighbors, so within the 12-state Midwest region we remain below 30 percent.”

But officials stress the state still has more work to do. People who are obese have an increased risk for a number of serious diseases and health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

Igo explained that state Health Department officials are working with their counterparts in all 87 counties through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership to, “Create more opportunities for individuals in the spaces where they live, work and play…., where people have greater access and opportunity to eat healthy food, as well as greater opportunity to be physically active.”

Officials added that data demonstrates that healthy eating and physical activity reduce obesity.