New CDC Obesity Prevalence Maps: Nine states report adult obesity at or above 35 percent

Differences by race, ethnicity, and location

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 12, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

In 2018, nine states reported an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35 percent: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and West Virginia. This comes from  the new obesity prevalence maps released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The maps break down adult obesity prevalence by race, ethnicity, and location based on self-reported height and weight data.


  • Obesity prevalence ranged from 23.0 percent in Colorado to 39.5 percent in Mississippi and West Virginia
  • Combined data from 2016-2018 showed notable differences by race and ethnicity:
    • 2 states had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among non-Hispanic white adults
    • 9 states had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among Hispanic adults
    • 29 states and the District of Columbia had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among non-Hispanic black adults.

Adults with obesity are at increased risk for many serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and poorer mental health. Obesity costs the United States health care system over $147 billion a year. In addition, research has shown that obesity affects work productivity and military readiness.

Turning the tide on obesity will take a comprehensive effort by all parts of society. These maps help by showing where the burden of obesity is greatest.  Factors like neighborhood design; access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages; and access to safe and convenient places for physical activity can all impact obesity.

For more information on CDC’s work to prevent obesity, visit


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.