Obesity in America: Statistics of a Growing Epidemic
Obesity is a very common problem in America. Currently, one in every three Americans suffers from obesity. A person with 20% higher than what his or her normal body weight should be is considered obese. This is measured in terms of body mass index or BMI. Anyone with a BMI of 30 and above is considered to be obese.
In a 2007-2008 study, obesity is said to be predominant among 32% adult men and 35.5% of adult women. Over a period of 10 years obesity showed no significant progression among women. Whereas, in case of men there has been a considerable shift in 10 years.
In the last 20 years obesity has increased hugely in America. See some numbers below and the Figure below.
- Statistics show that just Colorado and the District of Columbia had obesity of less than 20%.
- Prevalence of obesity was equal to or greater than 25% in 33 states.
- In 9 states- Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia- obesity affected 30% or higher population.
- A study of Obesity on the basis of Race or Ethnicity performed between years 2006 and 2008 by CDC show that Blacks have the highest rate of obesity. When compared to Whites, Blacks had 51% higher and Hispanics had 21% higher rates of obesity. This is likely due to other associated conditions such as poverty than race or ethnicity per se.
- Prevalence of obesity is higher in both blacks and whites in the South and Midwest than in the West and Northwest. However, among the Hispanics obesity is lower in the Northeast compared to those who live in the Midwest, South or West.
In another study it has been found that the nation’s highest rate of obesity is attributed to a large section of the Southeast, Appalachia, and some tribal lands in the West and Northern Plains. Prevalence of obesity is more than 30% in many counties of those regions. In the Appalachian region that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia where 80% of the counties have high rates of obesity. Same is with three-quarters of the counties in the southern region that includes Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.