Vital Signs: State-Specific Obesity Prevalence Among Adults -- United States, 2009

August 2010
MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report;8/6/2010, Vol. 59 Issue 30, p951
Background: Obesity is a costly condition that can reduce quality of life and increases the risk for many serious chronic diseases and premature death. The U.S. Surgeon General issued the Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity in 2001, and in 2007, no state had met the Healthy People 2010 objective to reduce obesity prevalence among adults to 15%.Methods: CDC used 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey data to update estimates of national and state-specific obesity prevalence. Obesity was calculated based on self-reported weight and height and defined as body mass index (weight [kg] / height [m]²) ≥30.Results: Overall self-reported obesity prevalence in the United States was 26.7%. Non-Hispanic blacks (36.8%), Hispanics (30.7%), those who did not graduate from high school (32.9%), and persons aged 50--59 years (31.1%) and 60--69 years (30.9%) were disproportionally affected. By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 18.6% in Colorado to 34.4% in Mississippi; only Colorado and the District of Columbia (19.7%) had prevalences of <20%; nine states had prevalences of ≥30%. Conclusions: In 2009, no state met the Healthy People 2010 obesity target of 15%, and the self-reported overall prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults had increased 1.1 percentage points from 2007. Implications for Public Health Practice: Obesity should be addressed through a comprehensive approach across multiple settings and sectors that can change individual nutrition and physical activity behaviors and the environments and policies that affect these behaviors. New and continued national, state, and community-level surveillance of obesity, its behavioral risk factors, and the environments and policies that affect these behaviors is critical to monitor progress in obesity prevention and to target interventions.


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