CDC: Map shows Southern obesity belt

Updated Aug. 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

ATLANTA, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity at 35 percent and Colorado has the lowest at 21 percent, the latest figures from U.S. health officials show.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's map found almost 36 percent of U.S. adults were obese, and almost 17 percent of youth were obese in 2009 to 2010, with most living in the South.

The map is based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

No state had a prevalence of adult obesity less than 20 percent, and 12 states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia -- had a prevalence of 30 percent or more.

The South had the highest prevalence of adult obesity at 29.5 percent, followed by the Midwest at 29 percent, the Northeast at 25.3 percent and the West at 24.3 percent.

Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion, the CDC said.

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