New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that adult obesity prevalence is increasing and racial and ethnic disparities persist. Notably, adults with obesity are at heightened risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.
The 2019 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps show that twelve states now have an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35%: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. This is up from nine states in 2018 and six states in 2017.
The maps break down adult obesity prevalence by race, ethnicity, and location based on self-reported height and weight data. Combined data from 2017-2019 show notable racial and ethnic disparities:
- 34 states and the District of Columbia had an obesity prevalence of 35% or higher among non-Hispanic Black adults.
- 15 states had an obesity prevalence of 35% or higher among Hispanic adults.
- 6 states had an obesity prevalence of 35% or higher among non-Hispanic White adults.