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New Data Compares Adult Obesity Rates Across States

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Adult obesity rates vary significantly across states, according to data published today in the State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a new report from Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). The 2019 data cover state-by-state adult obesity rates, and include statistics on physical inactivity as well as obesity-related health risks such as diabetes and hypertension.

According to the new data, Mississippi has the highest adult obesity rate in the U.S. at 40.8%; Colorado and DC are tied for the lowest at 23.8%. Twelve states have adult obesity rates above 35%: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. As recently as 2012, no state had an adult obesity rate over 35%.

Data

Adult Obesity in the United States

Adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in 12 states, 30% in 35 states and 25% in 48 states. Mississippi has the highest adult obesity rate at 40.8%, and Colorado and DC have the lowest at 23.8%. Between 2018 and 2019, the adult obesity rate increased in Michigan and Pennsylvania, decreased in Florida, and remained stable in the rest of states and D.C.

View adult obesity data by state

Florida was the only state to see its rates significantly decrease from 2018 to 2019. Michigan and Pennsylvania, in contrast, saw their rates go up. The new data come from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Mississippi, which has the highest rate of obesity in the U.S., has the second highest percentage of adults with diabetes and hypertension. Colorado has the lowest percentage of adults with diabetes. The state is also tied with DC for the lowest percentage of adults with hypertension.

In its report, TFAH notes that obesity can increase the risk for severe consequences from COVID-19, and makes a wide range of policy recommendations to address the obesity epidemic. 

Full Report

The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America

The U.S. adult obesity rate passed 40%, the highest ever recorded according to State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America released today by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). The national adult obesity rate has increased by 26% since 2008.

Read the Full Report

Related Adult Data

Data

Diabetes

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 2020

West Virginia has the highest rate of adult diabetes, 15.7%. Diabetes rates lowered significantly in three states between 2018 and 2019.

View the Data
data

Physical Inactivity

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 2020

Mississippi has the highest rate of physical inactivity among adults, 37.7%. The percentage of adults who are physically inactive significantly increased in 23 states from 2018-2019.

View the Data
data

Hypertension

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 2020

Nine of the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension are in the South. West Virginia has the highest rate at 43.8%.

View the Data