COLUMBUS — Ohio's adult obesity rate rose to an all-time high of 33.8 percent in 2017, one of just six states to see a significant jump over the previous year, a new report found.

The number ranks Ohio 11th-highest in the nation, according to the "State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America" report from the Trust for America's Health, a D.C.-based health-policy group, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest public health philanthropy. West Virginia ranked No. 1, with 38.1 percent of adults obese; Colorado was at the bottom with 22.6 percent.

The Ohio rate compares to a 31.5 percent rate in 2016, 20.6 percent in 2000 and 11.3 percent in 1990.

Judy Loper, executive director of Central Ohio Nutrition Center Inc., said that clients at the company's four locations have gotten younger as the years have passed. While most patients used to be in their 50s and 60s, some are now in their 20s and 30s.

"We've been in this business, it'll be almost 40 years," she said. "We thought it was high back then, but it's really kind of skyrocketed, and a lot of experts say we live in an 'obesogenic' society."

Americans have a lot of opportunity to overeat, with the abundance of fast-food and other restaurants, 24/7 food delivery services and curbside pickup at more grocery stores.

"We're set up where we don't have to move much,” Loper said. "We don’t even have get out of our cars to get it."

Along with adult obesity rates, the report notes that about one-third of Ohio children ages 10 to 17 were carrying excess weight in 2016, with 18.6 percent being obese and another 14.5 percent overweight.

"The numbers are a little frustrating but not totally surprising," said Kevin Lorson, immediate past president of the Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

The report recommends 21 policies, 18 of which are aimed specifically at children, that authors say could help address obesity.

Ohio, it says, lacks regulations in areas such as screen-time limits in early childhood education programs, doesn't require recess for elementary school children and has inadequate K-12 physical-education requirements.

Lorson, who directs the health and physical-education licensure program at Wright State University in Dayton, said the metrics used in the report don’t capture all that Ohio is doing in physical education. While Ohio policy allows local school districts to set physical-education curriculum and policy, he said, it is the only state that requires schools to report data on progress toward achieving physical-education learning standards.

While high school students must take at least two semesters of physical education to graduate, he said, districts are allowed to offer an opt-out option for students involved in certain extra-curricular activities, such as marching band, cheerleading or sports.

He doesn't think it all amounts to enough time to ensure that all young people learn the skills they need to be healthy and physically active throughout life.

That said, Lorson noted that obesity is about more than physical education, with environmental, social, cultural and other factors coming into play.

"It's going to take the village, so to speak," he said, adding that educators are increasingly implementing a whole-school approach to physical activity by including recess, breaks and before- and after-school programs, and recognizing the value of such activities in maintaining mental health and managing stress.

Ohio Department of Education spokeswoman Brittany Halpin said the agency, with the State Board of Education, recently launched an "Each Child, Our Future" plan focused on children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs and on partnerships such as connecting youth with health-care providers.

"We also know that health issues can significantly impact a child’s success in the classroom," she said in a statement. "In one of the strategies specifically, we’re working to support students so each of them enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle."

A statewide health improvement plan also currently being implemented includes strategies to tackle obesity, especially in younger Ohioans, said health department spokesman J.C. Benton.

"The Ohio Department of Health and its state and local partners are addressing childhood obesity on multiple fronts to instill healthy habits in children that will last a lifetime," he said in a statement.

Some examples he provided largely target children 5 and younger, including a specific Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Program; a Parenting at Mealtime and Playtime of the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to increase the number of physicians assessing obesity risk and providing prevention counseling; and, Ohio Healthy Programs of the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association to train child-care providers in healthy childhood eating and fitness.

Loper said community initiatives and policies are important but people, on an individual level, must be mindful of eating habits and exercise and tap into local fitness centers and cooking classes, neighborhood walking trails or newly built sidewalks.

"It takes both. It takes the person to have continued vigilance and make the lifestyle changes," she said. "But it also takes a community to make sure the resources are available."