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Obesity Rate by State 2021

Someone who is considered to be obese has a BMI of 30.0 or higher. Obesity is a growing concern in the United States and around the world.

The United States ranks 12th in the world for obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 36.9% of American adults age 20 and older were obese based on 2015-2016 data. 37.9% of men and 41.1% of women are considered to be obese in the United States. This is twice as many as three decades ago. Approximately 15% of children and teens are overweight, three times as many as there were in the 1980s.

Obesity is the result of several factors such as overeating, lack of physical activity, poor diet choices, genetics, metabolism, and culture. Americans are more likely to consume simple carbohydrates, convenient fast food, and processed pre-packaged foods. These foods tend to be higher in calories, less filling, and less nutrient-dense, causing people to consume more calories than they need. This caloric surplus combined with a lack of physical activity and exercise causes weight gain over time.

Obesity can lead to increased health risks such as type 2 diabetes, nerve damage, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death behind tobacco use. Because of the lasting and significant impacts of obesity, it is a significant factor in determining the healthiest and unhealthiest states.

According to The State of Obesity, the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data shows that 12 states now have obesity rates above 35%. Between 2018 and 2019, Michigan and Pennsylvania saw increases in their adult obesity rates, and Florida saw a decrease. Other states' and D.C.'s rates remained about the same.

The ten states with the lowest obesity rates are:

  1. Colorado (23.8%)
  2. District of Columbia (23.8%)
  3. Hawaii (25.0%)
  4. Massachusetts (25.2%)
  5. California (26.3%)
  6. <a href='/states/vermont-population'>Vermont</a> (26.5%)
    
  7. Florida (27.0%)
  8. <a href='/states/new-york-population'>New York</a> (27.1%)
    
  9. <a href='/states/new-jersey-population'>New Jersey</a> (27.3%
    
  10. Washington/Montana (28.3%)

Colorado's low obesity rate can be attributed to its culture and lifestyle. Many residents enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, and are generally conscious of eating whole, nutrient-dense foods, and their own wellbeing. Mississippi is the most obese U.S. state, with an obesity rate of 40.8%. Mississippi also has the lowest life expectancy of 74.5 years. West Virginia follows with an obesity rate of 39.7% and has the highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. at 15.7%.

The ten states with the highest obesity rates are:

  1. Mississippi (40.8%)
  2. West Virginia (39.7%)
  3. Arkansas (37.4%)
  4. Oklahoma (36.8%)
  5. Kentucky (36.5%)
  6. Tennessee (36.5%)
  7. Alabama (36.1%)
  8. Michigan (36.0%)
  9. Louisiana (35.9%)
  10. South Carolina (35.4%)

Here are the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity:

  1. West Virginia (38.10%)
  2. Mississippi (37.30%)
  3. Oklahoma (36.50%)
  4. Iowa (36.40%)
  5. Alabama (36.30%)
  6. Louisiana (36.20%)
  7. Arkansas (35.00%)
  8. Kentucky (34.30%)
  9. Alaska (34.20%)
  10. South Carolina (34.10%)

Obesity Rate by State 2021

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Obesity Rate by State 2021

State Obesity Rate 2021 Pop.
Colorado22.60%5,893,630
Hawaii23.80%1,406,430
California25.10%39,613,500
Montana25.30%1,085,000
Utah25.30%3,310,770
New York25.70%19,300,000
Massachusetts25.90%6,912,240
Nevada26.70%3,185,790
Connecticut26.90%3,552,820
New Jersey27.30%8,874,520
Vermont27.60%623,251
Washington27.70%7,796,940
New Hampshire28.10%1,372,200
Florida28.40%21,944,600
Minnesota28.40%5,706,400
New Mexico28.40%2,105,000
Wyoming28.80%581,075
Maine29.10%1,354,520
Idaho29.30%1,860,120
Oregon29.40%4,289,440
Arizona29.50%7,520,100
Rhode Island30.00%1,061,510
Virginia30.10%8,603,980
Illinois31.10%12,569,300
Maryland31.30%6,065,440
Georgia31.60%10,830,000
Pennsylvania31.60%12,804,100
Delaware31.80%990,334
South Dakota31.90%896,581
Wisconsin32.00%5,852,490
North Carolina32.10%10,701,000
Michigan32.30%9,992,430
Kansas32.40%2,917,220
Missouri32.50%6,169,040
Nebraska32.80%1,952,000
Tennessee32.80%6,944,260
Texas33.00%29,730,300
North Dakota33.20%770,026
Indiana33.60%6,805,660
Ohio33.80%11,714,600
South Carolina34.10%5,277,830
Alaska34.20%724,357
Kentucky34.30%4,480,710
Arkansas35.00%3,033,950
Louisiana36.20%4,627,000
Alabama36.30%4,934,190
Iowa36.40%3,167,970
Oklahoma36.50%3,990,440
Mississippi37.30%2,966,410
West Virginia38.10%1,767,860

Obesity Rate by State 2021