The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its latest mapping of obesity in the United States, based on data gathered by a CDC project known as BRFSS for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The BRFSS is a massive, continuous telephone survey of adults in U.S. states and territories, and every year it churns out high-quality information on a vast array of public health issues: smoking, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, immunization coverage, cancers, diet…. For anyone interested in health data, it’s a huge resource.
The current dive into the data for 2011 finds, unsurprisingly but depressingly, that a significant proportion of the U.S. population is obese. Not just overweight: obese. From the report:
[O]besity prevalence ranged from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi in 2011. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. 39 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states had a prevalence of 30% or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.