By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS
NEJM Journal Watch
The prevalence of obesity has risen among U.S. adults, with 12 states now having an obesity prevalence of 35% or higher, according to the CDC’s 2019 obesity maps released on Thursday. In 2018, nine states reached that prevalence.
Data from 2017 through 2019 show marked differences by race/ethnicity. In particular, 34 states and Washington, D.C., had an obesity prevalence of 35% or higher among Black adults, 15 states reached that prevalence among Latino adults, and six states did so among white adults.
All states had an overall adult obesity prevalence of 20% or higher.
The CDC notes that obesity is associated with worse outcomes in COVID-19. In addition, obesity is more common among Black and Latino adults, who are also at increased risk from COVID-19. “These disparities underscore the need to remove barriers to healthy living and ensure that communities support a healthy, active lifestyle for all,” the agency said in a news release.