Obesity in the US

The majority of US adults are either overweight or obese. To be precise, 2013 data from the CDC shows that 63.8% of US adults were either overweight (35.5%) or obese (28.3%). This puts the US in its own league compared to the rest of the world: the average obesity level of the OECD countries - 34 of the world's richest countries - is just a little over half the US level. 

A look at the latest data

Obesity levels vary quite a bit throughout the different US states however: the difference between the states with the lowest (Colorado: 21.3%) and the highest level (Mississippi and West Virginia: 35.1%) is almost 14 percent points. The spread among the states for overweight adults is considerably smaller: a 7.8 percent point difference between the lowest (District of Columbia: 30.9%) and highest locations (Puerto Rico: 38.7%)

Obese and overweight adults per US state

Showing percentage of obese and overweight adults (18 years or older) in the US for 2013. See notes for more information on the data. Source: CDC.

Overweight per US state 

Showing percentage of adults overweight in the US for 2013. Bubble color shows the overall trend over 2 years (2011-2013). Source: CDC.

Trends in obesity

In the majority of states the overall number of overweight or obese people is increasing. Virginia, a state with less obese adults than the national average, showed the largest decrease: 2% between 2011 and 2013. In general, the states with higher percentages of obese adults are also the states with higher increase percentages:

Adult obesity: latest figure compared to 2-year change

Showing the percentage of obese adults compared to the change in obese adults over the last 2 years measured (2011-2013). Source: CDC.

Obese and overweight adolescents per US state

Showing percentage of obese and overweight adolescents (students in grades 9-12) in the US for 2013. See notes for more information on the data. Source: CDC.

Obesity is on the rise among adolescents in most US states. Between 2009 and 2013, the number of obese youngsters grew with 2 percent points. The biggest increase was in Alabama (3.8 percent point); the biggest decrease was in Mississippi (-2.7 percent point).

2 year and 4 year changes in adolescent obesity