Rising number of US states with high obesity rates

Obesity is a major public health problem in the United States. The number of states in the United States where at least 35% of the population are obese rose to 16 last year, up from previous years, with significant racial disparities, according to new data from health officials released Wednesday.

The states concerned are mainly located in the South and the Midwest, region of the center of the country. In 2018, they were only nine of the 50 in the United States, and 12 the following year, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Among the new states to join this list include Texas and Iowa.

A body mass index greater than 30

Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers in particular. It also triples the risk of hospitalization linked to Covid-19, according to the CDC. In this study, it is defined as corresponding to a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.

Using combined data from 2018 to 2020, health authorities sought to understand racial disparities. Over the period, no state found obesity rates above 35% in people of Asian descent, although studies have shown that health risks associated with obesity could occur at a lower BMI in this population. . Seven states saw a high prevalence of obesity among white people, 22 among Hispanic citizens, and 35 (in addition to the capital Washington) among black residents.

The data also show a correlation with the level of education. Adults without a high school diploma or equivalent have the highest obesity rate (38.8%) while tertiary graduates have the lowest (25%).

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