New CDC data shows record 40% of adults are obese in these states


By Luke Andrews Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com

23:42 21 Sep 2023, updated 00:41 22 Sep 2023

More states are fatter than ever, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2022, a record three states had more than 40 percent of their adults classified as obese — West Virginia, Louisiana and Oklahoma — and 19 states had rates over 35 percent.

Thirty states saw their obesity rates rise last year compared to the same time the year before, including the President’s home state of Delaware, where rates rose by 11 percent, and New York, where they went up by nearly four percent.

For comparison, only two states — West Virginia and Kentucky — had an obesity rate above 40 percent in 2021 while in 2012 — a decade ago — no state had an obesity rate above 35 percent.

The figures prompted CDC experts to say tackling obesity was an ‘urgent priority’, describing it as a ‘disease’ linked to ‘many factors including eating patterns, physical activity levels and sleep routines’.

The above map shows the obesity rate by US state in the year 2022, the latest that data is available. The data was revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday
The above data shows the situation from the previous year. A majority of US states saw their obesity rates rise compared to previous years
The US obesity rate has taken off compared to a decade ago, when no states had an obesity rate above 35 percent. The CDC says it is an ‘urgent priority’ to tackle the nation’s growing waistline

REVEALED:US states with highest obesity rates 


West Virginia










Obesity rate (%), 2022











Data from 2022 based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 

REVEALED:US states with lowest obesity rates 







New Jersey

New York

New Hampshire



Obesity rate (%), 2022











Data from 2022 based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 

The CDC data was based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which surveys a nationally representative group of 400,000 adults annually to track the nation’s health.

To monitor waistlines, the survey calculates participants’ body mass index (BMI) after asking all participants for their weight and height. This data is then used to estimate the obesity rate by state.

Are you one of the lucky few ‘healthy’ obese? 

Research suggests a growing number of Americans are medically obese but physically healthy. 

Rounding out the top five states with the highest obesity rates were Mississippi, 39.5 percent, and Tennessee, 38.9 percent.

No state had an obesity rate below 25 percent, but at the other end of the scale was Colorado, 25 percent, Hawaii, 25.9 percent, Vermont, 26.8 percent, and Massachusetts, 22.9 percent.

Dr Karen Hacker, director of the CDC’s Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, said: ‘Our updated maps send a clear message that additional support for obesity prevention and treatment is an urgent priority. 

‘Obesity is a disease caused by many factors, including eating patterns, physical activity levels, sleep routines, genetics, and certain medications. This means that there is no one size fits all approach. 

‘However, we know the key strategies that work include addressing the underlying social determinants of health such as access to healthcare, healthy and affordable food, and safe places for physical activity.’

Data showed that the obesity rate had risen in every single state compared to just a decade ago.

By ethnic group, data showed Black and Hispanic adults were most likely to fall into the obesity category by state.

Previous data has shown that men are also more likely to be obese than women.

Adults are defined as obese if they have a BMI of 30 or over.

For comparison, a healthy BMI — calculated by dividing weight by height, and the answer by height again — is between 18.5 and 24.9.

The measure is flawed, because it often also classifies muscular people such as athletes as overweight, but health officials say it is the best they have to track the situation.

Obesity rates for 2021 by US state
Obesity rates across the US for the year 2020
Obesity rates in 2019
Obesity rates in 2018
Obesity rates in 2017 by state
Obesity rates in 2016 by state
Obesity rates in 2015 by US state
Obesity rates in 2014 by US state
Obesity rates in 2013
Obesity rates in 2012

Obesity raises the risk of a multitude of physical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

It is already estimated to cost the US healthcare system more than $173billion every year while heart disease is the biggest killer in the US causing more than 647,000 deaths every year.

There is also evidence linking obesity to a higher risk of suffering from strokes, severe respiratory infections and 12 different cancers.

People with obesity also describe having poor mental health and, in some cases, being stigmatized because of their weight.

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