Among U.S. states, Mississippi has the highest proportion of obese adults at 34.9 percent, and Colorado has the lowest, according to a survey released on Monday.
Mississippi heads 12 states with adult obesity rates of more than 30 percent, trailed by Louisiana and West Virginia, according to the report by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
At least 1 in 5 people is obese in every U.S. state, the CDC reported today. That’s more than 78 million people.
The findings come from the CDC’s annual self-report health survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System or BRFSS.
Are Americans more obese than last year? Maybe, maybe not: The numbers can’t be compared, because the BRFSS changed since last year, reaching out to people who only have cell phones and using a better system to analyze the data.
Both those things mean the statistics should be more accurate — but also make comparisons to earlier years meaningless. The new 2011 data will be the baseline to which future BRFSS reports will be compared.
Overall, the rate for the South was 29.5 percent, followed by the Midwest at 29 percent, the Northeast at 25.3 percent and the West at 24.3 percent.
As in previous years, the study showed that racial and ethnic minorities, along with those who have less education and make less money, have the highest obesity rates. Adult obesity rates for African-Americans topped 40 percent in 15 states, while whites topped 30 percent in only four states
In 2006, obesity-related medical costs totaled $147 billion a year, or nearly 10 percent of total medical spending, according to a 2011 study in Health Affairs.