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August 15, 2012

Obesity: How Does Your State Weigh In?

Filed under: Benefits,Communication,General HR Buzz,Management Practices,Wellness — Nancy McGee, HR Consultant @ 11:02 am

This week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released revised1 data showing rates of obesity in the US by state.  Here are some of the key findings directly from the CDC brief:
LOCATION

  • By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi in 2011. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. 39 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states had a prevalence of 30% 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%), followed by the Midwest (29.0%), the Northeast (25.3%) and the West (24.3%).
  • See the map of the US with percentages by state.

ETHNICITY and SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS

  • Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to be obese than those with low income.
  • Higher income women are less likely to be obese than low-income women.
  • There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to be obese compared with less educated women.
  • Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels.

HEALTH IMPACT

  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
  • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

1    Changes to the CDC’s BRFSS and to exclusion criteria result in a new baseline for estimated state adult obesity prevalence starting with the 2011 data. Because of these changes, estimates of obesity prevalence from 2011 forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years.    Shifts in estimates from previous years may be the results of the new methods, rather than measurable changes in the percentages. The direction and magnitude of changes in each state varies. These variations may depend on the characteristics of the population

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