Obesity Levels Rising, Gallup Poll Reveals

Today Gallup-Healthways released the results of its 2010 poll on obesity trends. The poll was taken as a part of a survey on the well-being of America. It found that more states’ obesity rates are increasing, rather than decreasing, in comparison to 2009. According to the data, 26.6% of American adults were obese in 2010, nearly the same as 26.5% in 2009, but up from 25.5% in 2008. The data is based on respondents’ self-reported height and weight. Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated from these figures and respondents are considered “obese” if their BMI is 30 or greater.

The poll found that the states with the highest incidences of obesity were West Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi, where 3 out of 10 residents are obese. The states with the lowest incidences of obesity were Hawaii, Colorado, and Utah, with obesity rates hovering around 20%. The figure below from the Gallup poll, illustrates the overall trend of higher levels of obesity in the South, with lower rates in the Northeast and West.
gallup poll obesity

Gallup compared the BMI results with self-reported diagnosis of diabetes and found that “diabetes rates are highest in the same states where obesity levels are the highest: West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Americans are least likely to report ever having been diagnosed with diabetes in Alaska, Colorado, Montana, and North Dakota.”
The 2010 state-level findings emphasize the link between high obesity levels and diabetes. According to the findings, Americans are becoming more obese and reporting more diagnoses of diabetes since Gallup and Healthways started tracking these conditions in early 2008.

View complete report findings.


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