Obesity Overview

Obesity Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2008 State Map | 2010 State Obestiy Rates | Prevalence of Overweight Among Children and Adolescents 

State-Level Estimated Annual Medical Costs of Obesity | Obesity and Disease

 

Obesity – Health and Economic Costs

Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.  More than one-third of U.S. adults—more than 72 million people—and 16 percent of U.S. children are obese.  Annual obesity-attributable U.S. medical expenses were estimated at $147 billion in 2008.  Taxpayers fund about half of this through Medicaid and Medicare. 

Obesity – County-Level Data

In November 2009, the CDC released the first U.S. county-level obesity and diabetes data. County-level obesity prevalence was highly correlated with diabetes prevalence. Better local estimates of obesity and diabetes prevalence can:

  • Contribute to understanding and awareness of obesity as a public health problem in state legislative districts.
  • Help policymakers identify where community supports and clinical services are most needed and target responses to specific communities or high-risk populations.  

Legislative Policy Options for Obesity Prevention and Control

The causes of obesity are complex, numerous, and operate at social, economic, environmental and individual levels. Communities with poor access to healthy foods and safe opportunities for physical activity have the highest rates of obesity. Policy options in community, worksite, medical care, child care and school settings have helped increase healthy choices for food and physical activity, including policies that:

  • Increase availability of healthy foods that meet quality nutrition standards and provide opportunity for quality physical activity in schools and licensed child care facilities.
  • Provide economic development incentives to encourage grocery stores to locate in underserved communities and incentives to increase production of healthy foods locally.
  • Encourage schools and local governments to enter into joint use agreements to increase community access to indoor and outdoor recreation facilities.
  • Support preventive lifestyle interventions within the health care system, such as weight management. 
  • Encourage employer-based worksite obesity prevention and control programs. 
  • Promote active modes of transportation, such as walking and biking, in community planning.

Sources: CDC, Obesity Halting the Epidemic by Making Health Easier, At A Glance 2009; CDC, New Community Recommendations Show Ways to Reduce Burden, July 27, 2009; NCSL staff research.


Obesity* Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2008

 United States Map Obesity Trends 2008


 

(*BMI 30 or higher, or ~30 lbs overweight for 5' 4" person)
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR 2007

To view a CDC powerpoint presentation on obesity trends over the last ten years, click here.

2010 State Obesity Rates

2010 State Obesity Rates
State % State % State % State %  
Alabama 32.2 Illinois 28.2 Montana 23.0 Rhode Island 25.5  
Alaska 24.5 Indiana 29.6 Nebraska 26.9 South Carolina 31.5  
Arizona 24.3 Iowa 28.4 Nevada 22.4 South Dakota 27.3  
Arkansas 30.1 Kansas 29.4 New Hampshire 25.0 Tennessee 30.8  
California 24.0 Kentucky 31.3 New Jersey 23.8 Texas 31.0  
Colorado 21.0 Louisiana 31.0 New Mexico 25.1 Utah 22.5  
Connecticut 22.5 Maine 26.8 New York 23.9 Vermont 23.2  
Delaware 28.0 Maryland 27.1 North Carolina 27.8 Virginia 26.0  
Washington DC 22.2 Massachusetts 23.0 North Dakota 27.2 Washington 25.5  
Florida 26.6 Michigan 30.9 Ohio 29.2 West Virginia 32.5  
Georgia 29.6 Minnesota 24.8 Oklahoma 30.4 Wisconsin 26.3  
Hawaii 22.7 Mississippi 34.0 Oregon 26.8 Wyoming 25.1  
Idaho 26.5 Missouri 30.5 Pennsylvania 28.6      

 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  "Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Data and Statistics". 2010 State Obesity Rates.


Prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents ages 2-19 years

Age (years)1


1963-65
1966-702


1971-74


1976-80


1988-94


1999-2000


2001-02


2003-04

2-5

-

5%

5%

7.2%

10.3%

10.6%

13.9%

6-11

4.2%

4%

6.5%

11.3%

15.1%

16.3%

18.8%

12-19

4.6%

6.1%

5%

10.5%

14.8%

16.7%

17.4%

1Excludes pregnant women starting with 1971-74. Pregnancy status not available for 1963-65 and 1966-70.
2Data for 1963-65 are for children 6-11 years of age; data for 1966-70 are for adolescents 12-17 years of age, not 12-19 years.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, NHANES


State-Level Estimated Annual Medical Costs of Obesity

Estimated Adult Obesity-Attributable Percentages and Expenditures, by State (1998–2000)

State

(Millions $)

Alabama

$1320

Alaska

$195

Arizona

$752

Arkansas

$663

California

$7675

Colorado

$874

Connecticut

$856

Delaware

$207

District of Columbia

$372

Florida

$3987

Georgia

$2133

Hawaii

$290

Idaho

$227

Illinois

$3439

Indiana

$1637

Iowa

$783

Kansas

$657

Kentucky

$1163

Louisiana

$1373

Maine

$357

Maryland

$1533

Massachusetts

$1822

Michigan

$2931

Minnesota

$1307

Mississippi

$757

Missouri

$1636

Montana

$175

Nebraska

$454

Nevada

$337

New Hampshire

$302

New Jersey

$2342

New Mexico

$324

New York

$6080

North Carolina

$2138

North Dakota

$209

Oklahoma

$854

Ohio

$3304

Oregon

$781

Pennsylvania

$4138

Puerto Rico

 

Rhode Island

$305

South Carolina

$1060

South Dakota

$195

Tennessee

$1840

Texas

$5340

Utah

$393

Vermont

$141

Virginia

$1641

Washington

$1330

West Virginia

$588

Wisconsin

$1486

Wyoming

$87

Total

$75,051


Source: Finkelstein, Fiebelkorn, and Wang, 2004.
References
(NHANES) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2000
Finkelstein, EA, Fiebelkorn, IC, Wang, G. National medical spending attributable to overweight and obesity: How much, and who’s paying? Health Affairs 2003;W3;219–226.
Finkelstein, EA, Fiebelkorn, IC, Wang, G. State-level estimates of annual medical expenditures attributable to obesity. Obesity Research 2004;12(1):18–24.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. [Rockville, MD]: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General, [2001]. Available from: US GPO, Washington. Wolf AM, Colditz GA. Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obesity Research.1998;6(2):97–106. Wolf, A. What is the economic case for treating obesity? Obesity Research. 1998;6(suppl)2S–7S.


Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health chronic conditions, including the following:

Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease
Stroke
Gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

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