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Top States for Adult Obesity

Ranks of Obese Adults Grew in All States from 1995-2005, Says CDC
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 14, 2006 -- Mississippi has America's highest percentage of obese adults and Colorado has the lowest percentage, says the CDC.

The CDC reports that six in 10 U.S. adults are overweight or obese, including nearly a quarter who are obese.

Those figures appear in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The statistics are based on more than 333,000 adults aged 18 and older who reported their height and weight in a 2005 survey conducted via telephone.

The percentage of obese adults ranged from 17.4% to 30.3% among states in 2005. Curious about how your state ranks? Read on.

State-by-State List

Here is the CDC's list of adult obesityobesity prevalence, from highest to lowest, for each state and Washington, D.C. Ties are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Mississippi: 30.3%
2. West Virginia: 30.1%
3. Louisiana: 30%
4. South Carolina: 28.5%
5. Alabama: 28.1%
6. Kentucky: 27.9%
7. Arkansas: 27.2%
8. Alaska: 26.9%
9. Tennessee: 26.7%
10. Indiana: 26.4%
11. Texas: 26.3%
12. Missouri: 26.2%
13. Oklahoma: 26.1%
14. Georgia: 25.9%
15. Michigan: 25.5%
16. North Carolina: 25.4%
17. Nebraska: 25.1%
18. South Dakota: 24.9%
19. Iowa: 24.7%
19. North Dakota: 24.7%
20. Pennsylvania: 24.6%
21. Virginia: 24.5%
22. Illinois: 24.3%
23. Ohio: 23.9%
23. Wisconsin: 23.9%
24. Idaho: 23.8%
24. Maryland: 23.8%
25. Wyoming: 23.5%
26. Kansas: 23.4%
27. Oregon: 23.1%
28. Minnesota: 22.9%
29. Delaware: 22.8%
30. Washington: 22.7%
31. Florida: 22.3%
31. Maine: 22.3%
31. New Hampshire: 22.3%
32. California: 22%
33. New York: 21.6%
34. New Jersey: 21.5%
35. New Mexico: 21.2%
36. Washington, D.C.: 21.1%
37. Arizona: 20.9%
38. Utah: 20.8%
39. Nevada: 20.7%
40. Montana: 20.6%
41. Rhode Island: 20.5%
42. Massachusetts: 20.1%
43. Vermont: 19.8%
44. Connecticut: 19.3%
45. Hawaii: 19.1%
46. Colorado: 17.4%

The Obesity Boom

The CDC used participants' self-reported height and weight to calculate BMI (body mass index). Here are the cutoffs for overweight and obese BMI:

  • Overweight BMI: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese BMI: 30 and higher
  • Extremely obese BMI: 40 and higher.

In 2005 60.5% of U.S. adults were overweight, obese, or extremely obese.

Most of those people were overweight but not obese. However, almost 24% were obese and 3% were extremely obese.

America's obesity boom touched every state.

Adult obesity became more common in all states from 1995-2005, the CDC reports.

For instance, in every state in 1995, fewer than one in five adults were obese. That was true of 28 states in 2000 and only four states -- Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Vermont -- in 2005.

In 2005, obese adults accounted for at least a quarter of residents in 17 states and at least 30% of residents of three states -- Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

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