Obesity Rates Keep Rising

SSuchy Editor
  • According to a new report, 12 U.S. states now have an overall adult obesity rate above 30 percent. Mississippi is the state with the highest percentage of obese adults, with 34.9 percent, closely followed by Louisiana, West Virginia and Alabama, with 33.4 percent, 32.4 percent and 32.0 percent respectively. 


    The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released their annual report of the state-by-state obesity rates today. 


    Overall, the South and Midwest tended to have the highest obesity rates.  The states with the lowest rates were split between the West and Northeast.    

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    On the thinner end of the spectrum, the state with the lowest obesity rate is Colorado with a 20.7 percent, followed by Hawaii and Massachusetts at 21.8 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively. No state had a rate below 20 percent in this year’s report.


    The rates were calculated based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Behavior Risk Factors Surveillance Survey, an on-going telephone survey that collects data on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices and health care access. 


    The CDC modernized its reporting practices this year by setting a new baseline for comparisons and incorporating cell phone numbers into the data pool.  That makes this year’s results more precise, but also makes it more difficult to compare this year’s findings with last year’s results.


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    Later this summer, the two organizations will release their 2012 edition of F is for Fat, which will include an overall analysis of obesity in the U.S.  For the first time, the report will also include a study that forecasts the 2030 obesity rates in each state if current trends continue, as well as the projected health care costs and mortality rates associated with the forecast.


    Perhaps the most interesting part of the report will be a projection of the positive effect of a 5 percent reduction in BMI on an individual’s  health. For a six-foot tall person weighing 200 pounds, a 5 percent reduction would mean losing about 10 pounds.


    Stay tuned in to our coverage of these reports as they are released.

    Works cited:


    Trust for America’s Health. Analysis of Obesity Rates by State (2012). Retrieved from: http://healthyamericans.org/report/98/


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Methodologic Changes in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2011 and Potential Effects on Prevalence Estimates (2012).  Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/surveillancepractice/reports/brfss/brfss.html


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BRFSS Annual Survey Data (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/about.htm          



Published On: August 13, 2012