- Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia all have adult obesity rates of at least 35%
- Prevalence ranged from 23% in Colorado to 39.5% in West Virginia, Mississippi
- Middle-age adults between ages 45 and 54 are twice as likely to be obese as young adults between ages 18 and 24
Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia all have adult obesity rates of at least 35%, according to a new CDC map
Nine US states now have obesity rates of at least 35 percent – more than ever before, a new map has revealed.
More than one-third of adults in Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia are dangerously overweight, according to the data released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It’s a slight increase from 2017 when obesity prevalence was 35 percent or higher in seven states.
Colorado fared relatively well with an obesity rate of just 23 percent, while West Virginia and Mississippi had the worst rates at 39.5 percent each.
Data came from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a survey conducted via telephone by the CDC and state health departments.
The CDC report revealed the obesity rates increased as the level of education decreased.
Adults without a high school degree had an obesity rate of 35 percent in comparison to 33.1 percent of adults with a high school degree, 33 percent of adults with some college and 24.7 percent of college graduates.
Discrepancies were also apparent among races. Obesity prevalence among black adults was 39.1 percent obesity compared to 33.3 percent among Hispanic adults and 29.3 percent for white adults.
Pollsters also found that middle-aged adults were twice as likely to be obese as young adults.
Those between ages 18 and 24 had the lowest obesity rate at 18.1 percent while the age 45 to 54 group had the highest rate at 36.9 percent.
The South and the Midwest were again the US regions with the highest prevalence of obesity, at 33.6 percent and 33.1 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile the Northeast and the West sat at 28 percent and 26.9 percent, respectively.
Obesity is known as a risk factor for several chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attack and even certain types of cancer.
Health officials say that addressing the obesity epidemic will not only lead to better health outcomes but also reduce medical costs.
In 2012, a study from Cornell University in New York found obesity accounts for about 21 percent of total US health care costs, approximately $190.2 billion per year.
Experts have warned that the proportion of obese adults will only grow as younger generations do.
Over the last two decades, the US has implemented countless awareness programs aimed at both adults and children to try to combat the obesity epidemic.
Former first lady Michelle Obama became a mascot for healthier children while her husband was in office, spearheading the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, designed to motivate children to eat healthier and stay active in an effort to promote overall health.