Based on self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the 2013-2015 data used for the maps shows that no state had less than a 20 percent obesity rate. Colorado had the lowest rate, at 20.2 percent, with Louisiana the highest, at 36.2 percent.
Obesity rates for various groups, according to the data:
- 38.1 percent for Non-Hispanic blacks
- 31.9 percent for Hispanics
- 27.6 percent for non-Hispanic whites
- In two states, self-reported obesity for non-Hispanic whites was 35 percent or higher
- In 11 states, it was 35 percent or higher for Hispanics
- Obesity for non-Hispanic blacks was 35 percent or higher in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
Why it matters
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
According to the CDC, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.