By Mary Simms
HONOLULU (KHNL) A national report released today says adult obesity rates rose in 31 states over the past year. The study "F as in fat" how obesity policies are failing in America," found that adult obesity in Hawaii has increased. But, there's also good news here. Hawaii ranks fourth in the nation as a state with low obesity rates.
The study found about 80 percent of Hawaii's adults exercise regularly. That's slightly better than the national average.
For Miss Hawaii 2007, Ashley Layfield, being fit is a top priority and part of the job. She isn't surprised Hawaii's rate of obesity is lower than other states.
"People of Hawaii tend to be a lot more aware of health and their physical activity. We have a lot of hula dancers, a lot of organizations dedicated to physical fitness, so its not surprising," said Layfield as she prepared to work out with her trainer at Gold's Gym.
Personal trainer Kimo Kockelman of "Hardass Fitness" has some theories on why Hawaii ranked well in the study.
"The number one thing I would think is that its an active state because of the things you get to do. People love playing in the sun and sometimes that means you have be more fit to participate," says Kockelman.
He also thinks Hawaii's year round warm weather and water sports make people more inclined to stay fit.
"I mean that is enough pressure to have anyone start a diet or start a fitness program. If you know that I gotta get into my swimwear, you're more inclined to be a little more motivated."
More than 80 percent of Americans want the government to proactively address the obesity crisis.
"We have a lot of campaigns right now that are dedicated to living healthy so I think our public awareness is really high in our state, so its obvious by the numbers that our state is listening and taking a proactive role in that," said Layfield.
Although Hawaii ranked well with regards to adult obesity, Hawaii's children are the 29th most obese in the nation.