The CDC has released state- and territory-specific maps showing that in spite of the efforts of public health experts, the proportion of adults with obesity in the United States remains high.

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.