STATISTICS FOR MORBID OBESITY IN AMERICA
County-Specific Diabetes and Obesity Prevalence, 2007
Wide sections of the Southeast, Appalachia, and some
tribal lands in the West and Northern Plains have the
nation's highest rates of obesity and diabetes. In many
counties in those regions, rates of diagnosed diabetes
exceed 10 percent and obesity prevalence is more than 30
Eighty-one percent of counties in the Appalachian region
that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia have
high rates of diabetes and obesity. So do three-quarters of
counties in the southern region that includes Alabama,
Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
The estimates, in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report, are the first to provide county-level snapshots of
obesity across the United States. They also update diabetes
county-level estimates released in 2008.
Obesity by Race/Ethnicity 2006-2008
New Obesity Data Shows Blacks Have the Highest Rates of
Blacks had 51 percent higher prevalence of obesity, and
Hispanics had 21 percent higher obesity prevalence compared
Greater prevalences of obesity for blacks and whites were
found in the South and Midwest than in the West and
Northeast. Hispanics in the Northeast had lower obesity
prevalence than Hispanics in the Midwest, South or West.
For this study analysis, CDC analyzed the 2006−2008 BRFSS
Obesity Prevalence Among Low-Income, Preschool-Aged
One of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese, but
the obesity epidemic may be stabilizing. The prevalence of
obesity in low-income two to four year-olds increased from
12.4 percent in 1998 to 14.5 percent in 2003 but rose to
only 14.6 percent in 2008.
American Indians and Alaska Natives are the only race or
ethnic groups with increasing rates between 2003 and 2008.
Obesity prevalence among these children continued to rise
about a half percentage point each year from 2003 to 2008.
In 2008, obesity prevalence was highest among American
Indian or Alaska Native (21.2 percent) and Hispanic (18.5
percent) children, and lowest among white (12.6 percent),
Asian or Pacific Islander (12.3 percent), and black (11.8
In 2008, only Colorado and Hawaii reported 10 percent or
less of low-income preschool-age children were obese. The
only group with rates over 20 percent were Indian Tribal
For this study analysis, CDC analyzed the 1998−2008
Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) data. The
study defined obesity as a body mass index-for-age at or
above the 95th percentile based on the 2000 sex-specific
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