"Fat maps" show where the obesity epidemic has hit the United States hardest

Illustration for article titled Fat maps show where the obesity epidemic has hit the United States hardest

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released new data on weight gain among people living in the United States. What they discovered, as you can see in the map above, is that people in many regions of the country are more than 30 percent over their ideal BMI, or body mass index. BMIs are used to measure the percentage of your body weight that is fat.

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Illustration for article titled Fat maps show where the obesity epidemic has hit the United States hardest

Since the mid-1980s, when the CDC first started gathering this data, the country has gone from having a bit of a weight problem to suffering tremendously. The main health issue here is that obesity is associated with a lot of conditions that can lead to death, including diabetes and heart disease.

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Over at Wired's Superbug blog, Maryn McKenna cites the CDC report:

…obesity 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.

You can read the full CDC report here.

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

Being overweight also increases the risk of many types of cancer.

This is quite a bad change. Was there a change in the definition of obesity? Also, quite a few fat states had "no data" in 1985. Maybe the data collecting was poor even in states that reported?