2:57pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Latest Figures On Obesity Paint An Uglier Picture

Too many Americans weigh more than is good for them. What else is new, right?

We learned less than two weeks ago that rates of obesity worsened in 16 states last year, and not one state showed improvement.

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with the latest analysis of its own nationwide survey data, collected by telephone since 1984. The figures are just a little different, but the trend is all too familiar.

In the CDC's survey, people reported their own height and weight. Colorado, once again, was the best, sort of. Twenty-one percent of people there fit the criteria for obesity. In the other report we wrote about, Colorado was the only state to squeak under 20 percent, with an obesity rate of 19.8 percent.

Obesity rates were highest in Alabama, Mississippi and West Virginia. Obesity is defined as a body mass index of at least 30.

The most worrisome aspect of the latest data release is an animated map that show how obesity rates have climbed since 1985. In the mid-'90s, all the states were various shades of blue, meaning none had an obesity rate greater than 19 percent. By 2010, not a single state was blue — so 20 percent or more of all the residents in every state were obese.

The map at the top of the post shows the county-specific data on obesity from 2008. For more details, including state-specific maps and data going back to 2004, click here.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.