CDC: Obesity Rates by State

At least one in five people is obese in every U.S. state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Latest data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System show that obesity prevalence ranged from 20.7 percent in Colorado to a high of 34.9 percent in Mississippi in 2011. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.

Some 39 states had a prevalence of 25 percent or more and 12 of these states had a prevalence of 30 percent or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (29.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (29.0 percent), the Northeast (25.3 percent) and the West (24.3 percent).

Here’s the newly released CDC map showing obesity prevalence in each state in 2011:

Note: due to a new baseline established in 2011 for state obesity rates, the CDC cautions that estimates of obesity prevalence from 2011 forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years.

A USA Today article notes that the CDC map is based on data in which people self-report their height and weight:

Because people tend to underreport their weight, the percentage of people who are obese is probably higher than the statistics indicate.†

A recent report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) put the annual cost of treating obesity-related illness at $190.2 billion and  said there was  an urgent need to strengthen prevention efforts in the U.S.

One thought on “CDC: Obesity Rates by State”

  1. The cost of obesity has overtaken the cost of smoking and yet there is nowhere near as much stigma attached as a dissuading factor. Surely it has gotten to the point where people should start realising that obesity not only costs them but everyone else. I think because the negative externalities are not as obvious as something like smoking people think that other people shouldn’t care how overweight they are.

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