​States With Overweight Problems and High Obesity Rates

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August 14, 2012

A map of states with high obesity rates has been released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows just how bad the disease is across the nation.

In fact, no state had an adult obesity prevalence of less than 20 percent in 2011. The state with the lowest obesity rate was Colorado at 20.7 percent, and the state with the highest rate was Mississippi at 34.9 percent.

Twelve states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia — had obesity rates of 30 percent or more.

Regionally, the South had the highest percentage of obesity at 29.5 percent, followed by the Midwest at 29 percent, then the Northeast at 23.5 percent and the West at 24.3 percent.

Because of small changes in methodology, the CDC said the estimates from 2011 forward cannot be compared to estimates from years prior.

The CDC released the figures Monday. The new map was created using a different set of methodology from earlier maps, namely the inclusion of cell-phone only households into the data. That means the data can’t be scientifically compared to earlier obesity rates, and this new map will serve as a baseline reading of national obesity rates for years to come

A time-lapse map on the CDC’s website shows obesity in America dating back to 1985 through 2010 – the map over time becomes more colorful as it approaches current rates of the obesity epidemic.