It’s now a matter of common sense that crash diets don’t work because there’s too much of a tendency for people to relapse into the bad habits that led to putting on the pounds in the first place.

Steady and moderate weight management, lowering intake and increasing exercise, is the ticket for long-term weight loss, experts tend to agree — but just as with people, a state’s waistline can decrease over time.

Nearly one-third of Louisiana adults were obese in 2013, ranking the state No. 6 in terms of obesity, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Yet that’s down a bit, as our state’s percentage of obese adults dropped from 34.7 percent in 2012, when Louisiana ranked No. 1 in obesity, to 33.1 percent in 2013.

As with people who can’t lose weight just by cutting out one sweet item, the public health policies that will reduce obesity require an array of changes in the way people live. Let’s hope Louisiana can keep its collective waistline shrinking a bit, for it’s a costly and potentially deadly condition.