Obesity rates are skyrocketing in the U.S., killing more than 25,000 people a year. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop serious health problems including the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

Obesity is a growing health crisis in the United States that has gotten much worse over the past 20 years. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows about 66 percent of adults ages 20 and older are either overweight or obese. And the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980 – about 17 percent of children and teens ages 2-19 are now considered overweight.

In 2008, Colorado was the only state that had obesity rates less than 20 percent. The obesity levels in 32 states were 25 percent or higher – six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) were at 30 percent or more.

Below is a map showing obesity rates in each of the 50 states:

Percent of Obese (BMI > 30) in U.S. Adults

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention