Where in the US are the most obese people? It turns out that even the level of education influences this
In all states, obesity rates among residents exceed 20%. It turns out that one in five adults in the United States is obese. And in many states the rate is much higher than average. Which of them have the highest body mass index among residents, the publication said Fox News.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published “Map of obesity prevalence among adults in 2022”, which provides data on obesity rates in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories.
The three states with the highest rates of obesity among residents were Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia, with rates of 40% or higher.
In 19 states, obesity rates range from 35% to 40%, the report found.
Another 22 states had obesity rates between 30% and 35%, up from 2021 states in 19. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin .
Regionally, obesity rates are highest in the Midwest at 35,8%, followed by the South (35,6%), Northeast (30,5%) and West (29,5%).
The report uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey conducted on an ongoing basis by the CDC and individual state health departments.
“Our updated maps make it clear that additional support for preventing and treating obesity is an urgent priority,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Obesity is a disease caused by many factors, including diet, physical activity level, sleep patterns, genetics and certain medications.”
“However, we know that key strategies that work include addressing the underlying social determinants of health, such as access to health care, healthy and affordable food, and safe places to be physically active,” she noted.
Obesity rates were defined as the proportion of the adult population having a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30, based on weight and height data.
Obesity rates by race and ethnicity
There were significant differences among individual ethnic groups:
- Among non-Hispanic blacks, 38 states had obesity rates of 35% or higher;
- among American Indian or Alaska Native adults in 33 states or territories, obesity rates were also 35% or higher;
- among Hispanic adults, at least 32 states had this level of obesity;
- for white adults, obesity rates of 35% or higher were observed in 14 states;
- Non-Hispanic Asian adults had no such rate in any state or territory.
Differences by education level and age
According to the CDC, people with higher levels of education are less likely to be obese.
- adults with less than a high school education had the highest rate of obesity at 37,6%;
- Those with some college education had an obesity rate of 35,9%, followed by high school graduates (35,7%) and college graduates (27,2%).
- Young people aged 18 to 24 had the lowest obesity rate at 20,5%;
- and among adults aged 45 to 54 years – the highest (39,9%).
"Obesity kills insidiously"
Dr. Brett Osborne, a neurologist and longevity expert in Florida, calls obesity a "pathway disease" to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer's disease - "the diseases from which most Americans die," he says.
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“Unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, during which people became acutely ill, it was clear that obesity kills insidiously,” Osborne said.
“Obesity is a predictor of age-related diseases and early death,” he said. – Obesity is associated with a reduction in life expectancy of two to ten years. This represents hundreds of thousands of years of life lost in one year, given that obesity rates among Americans are on the rise, according to the CDC.”
Obesity-related medical costs totaled nearly $2019 billion in 173, according to the CDC.
According to Osborne, "Unless we tackle the problem of obesity (and calling it a 'problem' is an understatement), the population as a whole will be increasingly at risk of declining health and shorter life expectancy."
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