Health Status > Health Indicators
Overweight and Obesity
Being overweight or obese increases the risk for
numerous ailments, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart
disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, and poor reproductive health.1
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 51.7
percent of women and 67.9 percent of men were overweight or obese
in 2004. Measurements of overweight and obesity are based on Body
Mass Index (BMI), which is a function of height and weight. Overweight
is defined as a BMI of 25.0-29.9, and obese is defined as a BMI
of 30 or more; a BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal while a BMI
below 18.5 is considered underweight.
In 2004, every State in the nation had an obesity
rate of at least 14 percent. Overall, 11 States (located primarily
in New England and the Midwest) had obesity rates above 14 but below
20 percent. A majority of States had obesity rates of at least 20
percent but below 25 percent, while 11 States had rates of greater
than 25 but less than 30 percent. Only one State in the nation (Mississippi)
had an obesity rate of 30 percent or greater.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Overweight and obesity. June 2004. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity