Over One-Third of Adults in 22 States Have Obesity, CDC Says

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
4 Min Read

Nearly half of U.S. states had an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35% in 2022, according to CDC data.

The 22 states that met this mark — a small jump from the 19 states just the year prior — included Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Three of these states even had an obesity (body mass index [BMI] 30+) prevalence of 40% or more: Louisiana (40.1%), Oklahoma (40%), and West Virginia (41%). Every U.S. state and territory had an obesity prevalence higher than 20% — accounting for more than one in five adults. Washington, D.C. had the lowest prevalence of adult obesity in 2022, at 24.3%, followed by Colorado (25%), and Hawaii (25.9%).

Notably, just a decade prior, not a single state had an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35%.

There were some important race and ethnicity differences when the data were broken down further. Black adults commonly lived in states with an adult obesity prevalence of 35% or higher — 38 of 48 states and Washington, D.C.

Trailing not far behind were American Indian or Alaska Native adults (33 of 47 states) and Hispanic adults (32 of 49 states, two territories, and D.C.), with white adults bringing up the rear (14 of 49 states, one territory, and D.C.). There were no states or territories where Asian adults had an adult obesity prevalence of 35% or higher.

Beyond racial and ethnic variances in obesity, age and education also appeared to play a role. As education level increased, there was a decline in obesity prevalence. Adults without a high school diploma or equivalent had the highest prevalence of obesity (37.6%), followed by adults with some college education (35.9%) or high school graduates (35.7%), and then by college graduates (27.2%).

Adults ages 18-24 had the lowest prevalence of obesity (20.5%) compared with those ages 45-54, who had the highest prevalence (39.9%).

“Our updated maps send a clear message that additional support for obesity prevention and treatment is an urgent priority,” said Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in a statement. “Obesity is a disease caused by many factors, including eating patterns, physical activity levels, sleep routines, genetics, and certain medications.”

“This means that there is no one size fits all approach,” she added. “However, we know the key strategies that work include addressing the underlying social determinants of health such as access to healthcare, healthy and affordable food, and safe places for physical activity.”

These new numbers build on prior 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data that showed that over 73% of U.S. adults had overweight or obesity.

During these years, 42.4% of adults ages 20 and older had obesity, 9.2% had severe obesity (BMI 40+), and another 30.7% of American adults were overweight (BMI 25-29.9).

  • author['full_name']

    Kristen Monaco is a senior staff writer, focusing on endocrinology, psychiatry, and nephrology news. Based out of the New York City office, she’s worked at the company since 2015.

Source link

Share this Article
Leave a comment
adbanner