How HEAVY is your STATE?
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Release from TFA
For Immediate Release: August 13, 2012
MISSISSIPPI HAS HIGHEST OBESITY RATE IN THE NATION
NEW ANALYSIS RANKS STATES, FINDS 12 STATES
TOP 30 PERCENT FOR OBESITY
D.C. August 13, 2012
states currently have an adult obesity rate above 30 percent, according to a
new analysis released today by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The analysis used the state obesity
rates made available today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC). Mississippi had the highest rate of obesity at 34.9 percent, while
Colorado had the lowest rate at 20.7 percent. Twenty-six of the 30 states with
the highest obesity rates are in the Midwest and South.
"Obesity has contributed to a stunning rise in chronic disease
rates and health care costs. It is one of the biggest health crises the country
has ever faced,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, TFAH executive director. "The good
news is that we have a growing body of evidence and approaches that we know can
help reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity based on
making healthier choices easier for Americans. The bad news is we're not
investing anywhere near what we need to in order to bend the obesity curve and
see the returns in terms of health and savings.”
Later this summer, TFAH and RWJF will release the 2012 edition of
as in Fat, the annual report that analyzes state obesity rates and
policy efforts to address the epidemic, and provides policy recommendations.
For the first time, the 2012
report will include a study that forecasts 2030 obesity rates in each state and
the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care
costs. The analysis also will examine the potential impact of a 5 percent
reduction in body mass index (BMI) levels and the number of Americans who could
be spared from type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, hypertension,
arthritis and obesity-related cancers if they were able to achieve that
reduction. Additionally, the projection will feature the cost savings that
could be achieved in each state as a result of a 5 percent BMI reduction. For a
six-foot-tall person weighing 200 pounds, a 5 percent reduction in BMI would be
the equivalent of losing roughly 10 pounds.
In 2006, obesity-related medical costs totaled $147 billion a
year, or nearly 10 percent of total medical spending, according to a 2011 study
Health Affairs. The bulk of the spending is
generated from treating obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes.
nation has made important inroads to creating healthier communities,” said Risa
Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, RWJF president and CEO. "Some cities and states that
have taken comprehensive action to address the epidemic are beginning to see
declines in their obesity rates. But we need to expand and intensify our
efforts. Investing in prevention today will mean a healthier tomorrow for our
In recognition of the dramatic health and financial consequences
of obesity, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) earlier this year released
a comprehensive report
that outlined strategies for reversing
the epidemic and called on everyone to advance those strategies. The IOM committee,
made up of nutritionists, public health experts, and leaders from the public,
private and nonprofit sectors, called for a focused commitment to: making
physical activity an integral and routine part of life, creating food and
beverage environments that ensure that healthy food and beverage options are
the routine, easy choice, transforming messages about physical activity and
nutrition, expanding the role of health care providers, insurers and employers
in obesity prevention, and making schools a national focal point for obesity
ADULT OBESITY RATES
According to the newly released CDC data, part of the 2011
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, the obesity rates by state from
highest to lowest were:
1. Mississippi (34.9%); 2. Louisiana (33.4%); 3. West Virginia
(32.4%); 4. Alabama (32.0%); 5. Michigan (31.3%); 6. Oklahoma (31.1%); 7.
Arkansas (30.9%); 8. (tie) Indiana (30.8%); and South Carolina (30.8%); 10.
(tie) Kentucky (30.4%); and Texas (30.4%); 12. Missouri (30.3%); 13. (tie)
Kansas (29.6%); and Ohio (29.6%); 15. (tie) Tennessee (29.2%); and Virginia
(29.2%); 17. North Carolina (29.1%); 18. Iowa (29.0%); 19. Delaware (28.8%);
20. Pennsylvania (28.6%); 21. Nebraska (28.4%); 22. Maryland (28.3%); 23. South
Dakota (28.1%); 24. Georgia (28.0%); 25. (tie) Maine (27.8%); and North Dakota
(27.8%); 27. Wisconsin (27.7%); 28. Alaska (27.4%): 29. Illinois
(27.1%);30. Idaho (27.0%); 31. Oregon (26.7%); 32. Florida (26.6%); 33.
Washington (26.5%); 34. New Mexico (26.3%); 35. New Hampshire (26.2%); 36.
Minnesota (25.7%); 37. (tie) Rhode Island (25.4%); and Vermont (25.4%); 39.
Wyoming (25.0%); 40. Arizona (24.7%); 41. Montana (24.6%); 42. (tie)
Connecticut (24.5%); Nevada (24.5%); and New York (24.5%); 45. Utah (24.4%);
46. California (23.8%); 47. (tie) District of Columbia (23.7%); and New Jersey
(23.7%); 49. Massachusetts (22.7%);50. Hawaii (21.8%); 51. Colorado
Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult
obesity. Individuals with a body mass index (a calculation based on
weight and height ratios) of 30 or higher are considered obese.
CDC has modernized the methodology for BRFSS this year, setting a
new baseline for comparisons. The updated approach, incorporating cell
phones and using an iterative proportional fitting data weighting method, means
rates are even more reflective of each states' population, but that the rates
were determined in a different way than in the past, making direct change
comparisons difficult. The full data set can be found at:
F as in Fat
report is available on TFAH's website
and the upcoming 2012
as in Fat
be released later this summer.
Suzanne Pechilio Polis
Trust for America's Health
1730 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036