This Is What Obesity Looks Like in America

September 28th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

The U.S. has some of the highest rates of obesity in the world — and the numbers appear to be rising.

According to the Trust for America's Health, a non-profit focusing on health and disease prevention, nearly all states — 45 — exceed a 25 percent obesity rate, with three states (Arkansas, West Virginia, and Mississippi) now exceeding 35 percent. Every state is above 20 percent, as the below chart, compiled by data journalist Niall McCarthy, illustrates.

 America's Fattest States | Statista

While the above numbers might not seem too surprising today, they are a far cry from those from just 20 to 30 years ago, when few states had obesity rates above 15 percent. Those numbers are included in a new report called "The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America," released through the State of Obesity project of the Trust for America's Health. And the visuals could not be more stark.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, obesity is classified as a body mass index of 30 or more.

Obesity rates across US states since 1990

Obesity rates across US states since 1990

The High Cost of Obesity to Society
Poverty & Obesity Are Heavily Linked: What Can We Do?