Up until 2021, Colorado was the “thinnest state in the U.S.” with the lowest prevalence of obesity, per The Denver Gazette. That year, its estimated obesity rate jumped from 24.2% to 25.1%, edging just past Hawaii’s 25%.
Still, Colorado residents remain some of the fittest in the country, due in part to ample access to trails, mild weather, and “a highly educated population churning and burning more calories at altitude,” NPR reported.
Colorado’s latest move is in line with recent legislative actions in states such as New York, which also enacted a similar anti-discrimination law. But Michigan led the way back in 1976 with the first law that banned weight-based discrimination as well as discrimination based on age and height.
With obesity rates on the rise nationwide, the push to protect overweight persons from bias is gaining traction with consideration of related bills in Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey.
The Obesity Action Coalition hails the move as a critical advancement in combating weight stigma, bias and discrimination, signaling a potential national shift in attitudes toward obesity.
“This is a huge step forward for us, and we really hope that this starts a grassroots effort across the US,” Kristal Hartman, an activist with the Obesity Action Coalition, told NewsNation.