New York is among the least obese states

state obesity cdc brfss 2011

Prevalence of adult obesity by state in 2011, according to the CDC. (see notes below) Arkansas is now the buckle of the Butter Belt.

New York State ranks 42nd in the nation for the prevalence of adult obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (It's tied with Connecticut and Nevada for that spot.)

The CDC figures that 24.5 percent of adults in New York were obese last year.* Nationwide about 35.7 percent of adults are obese. State-by-state rankings are post jump.

The CDC defines obese as a person having a body mass index of 30 or higher. A healthy weight is considered to be in the 18.5 to 24.9 BMI range.

While New York is in relatively good shape -- it shouldn't exactly be patting itself on the back (unless that counts as exercise). Only 10-14 percent of adults in the state were obese 20 years ago.**

* Data are from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) which relies on self-reported data from phone surveys.
** The CDC changed some of the ways it collects the BRFSS data, so the 2011 figures are necessarily comparable to the 2010-and-before numbers.

State-by-state prevalence

image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Those numbers make me ill. I hope they make the rest of this state and country ill as well.

I think the main reason New York ranks as low as it does is that there are large numbers of people in NYC who don't drive, and thus walk more. If you split off upstate NY, I doubt it would rank better than the national average.

@John: You might be right -- a similar thought occurred to me, too. So I tried to find recent county-level data, but I came up empty.

For what it's worth, here's a map that's a few years old -- the split doesn't so much seem to be upstate/downstate as urban/rural.

And here's a quick bit from the CDC about obesity and socioeconomic status. The short take: the higher income and higher educated a woman, the less likely she is to be obese. That doesn't necessarily hold true for men.

while i don't doubt there is an obesity problem (and lack of commitment to healthy life styles) in this country, I cannot stand the BMI approach. I have a BMI of 26.6 which makes me "over weight"; however I comfortably wear a size 6 or 8 at 5'5". what BMI doesn't know is that i can deadlift 245 lbs and press 100lbs overhead...its a flawed tool to begin with that cannot distinguish between people with excess body fat and people with high muscle mass.

I'd love to see the obesity rates compared with, say, median household income for each state. I think there is a higher correlation with income/socioeconomic status than with the frequency of exercise (e.g., walking).

A lot of anorexic New York City models are bringing down our statewide average.

I thought Vermont and Oregon would fare better.

We're way behind most of the "red states" in our Moon Pie consumption.

With the exception of the great lakes region, this map is very similar to the electoral college map. What conclusions can be drawn from this? ...probably none, but maybe POTUS should shift to a more cheesesteak friendly platform if he wants to capture the swing states.

August 2006 I weighed 268
August 2012 I weigh 210

Your welcome, NY!

I'm working on bringing up our numbers. Going on a pizza binge in 30 minutes or less...

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