U.S. Obesity Prevalence Among Adults Increased in 2009

No state met the Healthy People 2010 adult obesity prevalence target of 15 percent
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In 2009, no U.S. state met the Healthy People 2010 adult obesity prevalence target of 15 percent, and the number of states with an obesity prevalence ≥30 increased from zero in 2000 to nine in 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vital Signs report published Aug. 3 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report provided an update on national and state-specific obesity prevalence using new Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey data. The report revealed that the overall self-reported obesity prevalence in the United States was 26.7 percent, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from 2007 to 2009 among adults aged 18 years or older. In addition, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion in 2008 dollars, with obese individuals having estimated medical costs that were $1,429 higher than those of normal-weight individuals.

The prevalence of obesity was highest among non-Hispanic blacks (36.8 percent), Hispanics (30.7 percent), individuals aged 50-59 years (31.1 percent), and those aged 60-69 years (30.9 percent) as well as among those who did not graduate from high school (32.9 percent). By state, the data revealed that obesity prevalence was highest in Mississippi (34.4 percent) and lowest in Colorado (18.6 percent). The only two states with prevalences below 20 percent were Colorado and the District of Columbia (19.7 percent).

"Obesity continues to be a major public health problem," CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "We need intensive, comprehensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity. If we don't more people will get sick and die from obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death."

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