More States Reach 30 Percent Obesity Rate
Obesity is common, serious and costly. Promote policies and programs at school, at work and in the community that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
The obesity epidemic affects every state, according to a new CDC report. No state met the country’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity to 15 percent. The report also makes recommendations on how to reverse the epidemic.
The CDC Vital Signs report, titled “State-Specific Obesity Prevalence Among Adults – United States, 2009,” points out that people who are obese incurred $1,429 per person extra in medical costs compared to people of normal weight, and that the nation’s total medical costs of obesity were $147 billion in 2008. New data shows that nine states had an obesity rate of 30 percent or higher in 2009. In comparison, no state had an obesity rate of 30 percent or more in 2000, and only three states reached the 30 percent mark in 2007.
Obesity affects some communities more than others. The highest rates were found among non-Hispanic blacks overall, whose rate was 36.8%, and non-Hispanic black women, whose rate was 41.9%. The rate for Hispanics was 30.7%, and the rate among all non-high school graduates was 32.9%. In addition, the obesity rate was higher in some regions of the country than others. Midwesterners had a rate of 28.2% and residents of the South were at 28.4%. Wisconsin residents rated at 28.7%.
2009 State Obesity Rates
Alabama 31.0 Illinois 26.5 Montana 23.2 Rhode Island 24.6
Alaska 24.8 Indiana 29.5 Nebraska 27.2 South Carolina 29.4
Arizona 25.5 Iowa 27.9 Nevada 25.8 South Dakota 29.6
Arkansas 30.5 Kansas 28.1 New Hampshire 25.7 Tennessee 32.3
California 24.8 Kentucky 31.5 New Jersey 23.3 Texas 28.7
Colorado 18.6 Louisiana 33.0 New Mexico 25.1 Utah 23.5
Connecticut 20.6 Maine 25.8 New York 24.2 Vermont 22.8
Delaware 27.0 Maryland 26.2 North Carolina 29.3 Virginia 25.0
Washington DC 19.7 Massachusetts 21.4 North Dakota 27.9 Washington 26.4
Florida 25.2 Michigan 29.6 Ohio 28.8 West Virginia 31.1
Georgia 27.2 Minnesota 24.6 Oklahoma 31.4 Wisconsin 28.7
Hawaii 22.3 Mississippi 34.4 Oregon 23.0 Wyoming 24.6
Idaho 24.5 Missouri 30.0 Pennsylvania 27.4
Serious, Complex Problem
Obesity is a contributing cause of many other health problems, including heart disease stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer. These are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Obesity can cause sleep apnea and breathing problems as well as limit mobility. Obesity can also causes problems during pregnancy or make it more difficult for a woman to become pregnant.
Obesity is a complex problem that requires both personal and community action. People in all communities should be able to make healthy choices. To reverse this epidemic, we need to change our communities into places that strongly support healthy eating and active living.
The report recommends individual, community, state and national government efforts.
All people can:
Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in fat and sugar.
Drink more water instead of sugary drinks.
Be more physically active.
Watch less television.
Promote policies and programs at school, at work, and in the community that make the healthy choice the easy choice.