State obesity rates

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The obesity epidemic continues to get worse in most states in the United States although it has stabilized in some states in recent years.

Here is a comparison of obesity rates in 2010 and 2012.

Obesity in the United States - 2010

2010 State Obesity Rates
State % State % State % State %
Alabama 32.2 Illinois 28.2 Montana 23.0 Rhode Island 25.5
Alaska 24.5 Indiana 29.6 Nebraska 26.9 South Carolina 31.5
Arizona 24.3 Iowa 28.4 Nevada 22.4 South Dakota 27.3
Arkansas 30.1 Kansas 29.4 New Hampshire 25.0 Tennessee 30.8
California 24.0 Kentucky 31.3 New Jersey 23.8 Texas 31.0
Colorado 21.0 Louisiana 31.0 New Mexico 25.1 Utah 22.5
Connecticut 22.5 Maine 26.8 New York 23.9 Vermont 23.2
Delaware 28.0 Maryland 27.1 North Carolina 27.8 Virginia 26.0
District of Columbia 22.2 Massachusetts 23.0 North Dakota 27.2 Washington 25.5
Florida 26.6 Michigan 30.9 Ohio 29.2 West Virginia 32.5
Georgia 29.6 Minnesota 24.8 Oklahoma 30.4 Wisconsin 26.3
Hawaii 22.7 Mississippi 34.0 Oregon 26.8 Wyoming 25.1
Idaho 26.5 Missouri 30.5 Pennsylvania 28.6

Obesity in the United States - 2012 Data

State Prevalence 95% Confidence Interval
Alabama 33.0 (31.5, 34.4)
Alaska 25.7 (23.9, 27.5)
Arizona 26.0 (24.3, 27.8)
Arkansas 34.5 (32.7, 36.4)
California 25.0 (23.9, 26.0)
Colorado 20.5 (19.5, 21.4)
Connecticut 25.6 (24.3, 26.9)
Delaware 26.9 (25.2, 28.6)
District of Columbia 21.9 (19.8, 24.0)
Florida 25.2 (23.6, 26.7)
Georgia 29.1 (27.4, 30.8)
Hawaii 23.6 (22.0, 25.1)
Idaho 26.8 (24.8, 28.8)
Illinois 28.1 (26.4, 29.9)
Indiana 31.4 (30.1, 32.7)
Iowa 30.4 (29.1, 31.8)
Kansas 29.9 (28.7, 31.0)
Kentucky 31.3 (29.9, 32.6)
Louisiana 34.7 (33.1, 36.4)
Maine 28.4 (27.2, 29.5)
Maryland 27.6 (26.3, 28.9)
Massachusetts 22.9 (22.0, 23.8)
Michigan 31.1 (29.8, 32.3)
Minnesota 25.7 (24.7, 26.8)
Mississippi 34.6 (33.0, 36.2)
Missouri 29.6 (28.0, 31.2)
Montana 24.3 (23.1, 25.5)
Nebraska 28.6 (27.7, 29.6)
Nevada 26.2 (24.3, 28.1)
New Hampshire 27.3 (25.8, 28.8)
New Jersey 24.6 (23.6, 25.6)
New Mexico 27.1 (25.9, 28.3)
New York 23.6 (22.0, 25.1)
North Carolina 29.6 (28.5, 30.7)
North Dakota 29.7 (27.9, 31.4)
Ohio 30.1 (29.0, 31.2)
Oklahoma 32.2 (30.8, 33.6)
Oregon 27.3 (25.7, 29.0)
Pennsylvania 29.1 (28.1, 30.1)
Rhode Island 25.7 (24.1, 27.4)
South Carolina 31.6 (30.4, 32.8)
South Dakota 28.1 (26.5, 29.8)
Tennessee 31.1 (29.6, 32.7)
Texas 29.2 (27.8, 30.5)
Utah 24.3 (23.3, 25.3)
Vermont 23.7 (22.3, 25.1)
Virginia 27.4 (26.0, 28.7)
Washington 26.8 (25.8, 27.8)
West Virginia 33.8 (32.2, 35.4)
Wisconsin 29.7 (27.8, 31.6)
Wyoming 24.6 (22.8, 26.4)

Also see County obesity rates United States

Obesity and weight loss resources in the United States

Areas and territories that belong to the United States:

Causes of weight gain

What’s causing your weight gain? - State obesity rates

  • Up to 70 percent of the population in the United States deals with being overweight or obese
  • 35 percent of all adults, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are prediabetic and have significant insulin resistance while another 36 percent have some signs of insulin resistance
  • Diabetes has increased by over 500 percent in the last 50 years or so and now affects 8 percent of the population.

Could insulin resistance explain your weight gain?

What really causes your weight gain?

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Benefits of losing weight

Obesity is linked to over 50 different medical conditions and losing weight can help reduce the risk. The health benefits of weight loss include reducing your risk of:


As well as the health benefits, if you are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight can improve your quality of life. It can make you more mobile and energetic, and improve your self-esteem.

Steps to lose weight

If you are overweight or obese, and need to lose weight, here are 4 simple steps to lose weight.

A healthy weight loss program consists of:

  • A reasonable, realistic weight loss goal
  • A reduced calorie, nutritionally-balanced eating plan
  • Regular physical activity
  • A behavior change plan to help you stay on track with your goals

Step 1 for losing weight


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat obtained from skinfold thickness measurements, bioelectrical impedance, densitometry (underwater weighing), dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and other methods. BMI appears to be as strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcome as are these more direct measures of body fatness. In general, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight category, for example underweight, normal or healthy weight, overweight, and obesity. The standard weight status categories associated with BMI ranges for adults are shown in the following table.


Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

Step 2 for losing weight

Did you know that certain distribution of weight such as central adiposity where the excess weight is in the middle of the body, increases your health risk associated with Obesity?. A simple and inexpensive way to determine your risk is to measure waist circumference.

Waist Circumference Measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks that come with overweight and obesity. If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk goes up with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.

Step 3 for losing weight

Understand the 5 clinically proven measures to lose weight. How is obesity treated? Obesity is treated using one or more of these strategies: „ a diet low in calories called Very Low Calorie Diet „ increased physical activity along with a reduced calorie diet (exercise alone only helps to maintain weight) „ behavior therapy to change eating habits „ prescription weight loss medications such as Qsymia, Belviq, Phentermine, Contrave, Saxenda etc „ weight-loss surgery or bariatric surgery

Step 4 for losing weight

Find an evidence based weight loss program that preferably accepts your health insurance. Safe and successful weight loss programs should include behavioral treatment, also called lifestyle counseling, that can teach you how to develop and stick with healthier eating and physical activity habits—for example, keeping food and activity records or journals information about getting enough sleep, managing stress, and the benefits and drawbacks of weight-loss medicines ongoing feedback, monitoring, and support throughout the program, either in person, by phone, online, or through a combination of these approaches slow and steady weight-loss goals—usually 1 to 2 pounds per week (though weight loss may be faster at the start of a program) a plan for keeping the weight off, including goal setting, self-checks such as keeping a food journal, and counseling support.

Insurance coverage for losing weight

Did you know that most insurances are required to provide insurance coverage for screening and counseling for weight loss under the 2010 Affordable Care Act in the United States?

How to choose the right weight loss program?


Some people lose weight on their own; others like the support of a structured program. Overweight or obese people who are successful at losing weight, and keeping it off, can reduce their risk factors for heart disease.

If you decide to join any kind of weight-control program, here are some questions to ask before you join.

  • Does the program provide counseling to help you change your eating activity and personal habits?
  • The program should teach you how to change permanently those eating habits and lifestyle factors, such as lack of physical activity, that have contributed to weight gain.
  • Is the staff made up of a variety of qualified counselors and health professionals such as nutritionists, registered dietitians, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and exercise physiologists?
  • You need to be evaluated by a physician if you have any health problems, are currently taking any medicine or plan on taking any medicine, or plan to lose more than 15 to 20 pounds.
  • If your weight-control plan uses a very low-calorie diet (a special liquid formula that replaces all food for 1 to 4 months), an exam and followup visits by a doctor also are needed.
  • Is training available on how to deal with times when you may feel stressed and slip back to old habits?
  • The program should provide long-term strategies to deal with weight problems you may have in the future.

These strategies might include things like setting up a support system and establishing a physical activity routine.

  • Is attention paid to keeping the weight off? How long is this phase?
  • Choose a program that teaches skills and techniques to make permanent changes in eating habits and levels of physical activity to prevent weight gain.
  • Are food choices flexible and suitable? Are weight goals set by the client and the health professional?
  • The program should consider your food likes and dislikes and your lifestyle when your weight-loss goals are planned.

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