Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. In 2010, no state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-six states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30% or more. Obesity and socioeconomic status
Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to be obese than those with low income.
Higher income women are less likely to be obese than low-income women.
There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to be obese compared with less educated women.
Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels
Obesity affects some groups more than others.
Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity (44.1%) compared with Mexican Americans (39.3%), all Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%). Obesity prevalence varies across states and regions
By state, obesity prevalence, on the basis of self-report, ranged from 21% in Colorado to 34% in Mississippi in 2010. Twelve states had a prevalence of 30% or more.
The South has the highest obesity prevalence (29.4%) followed by the Midwest (28.7%), Northeast (24.9%) and the West (24.1%).
Overweight and obesity and their associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the U.S. health care system (USDHHS, 2001). Medical costs associated with overweight and obesity may involve direct and indirect costs (Wolf and Colditz, 1998; Wolf, 1998). Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs. Morbidity costs are defined as the value of income lost from decreased productivity,