According to the latest Gallup Poll.
For the third consecutive year, residents of the Boulder, Colo., metro area are the least likely to be obese, at 12.5% in 2012. Residents of McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, continue to be the most likely to be obese, at 38.5%. Adult obesity rates are higher than 15% in all but two of the 189 metro areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2012.
Here is the chart for the worst areas for obesity.
Obesity continues to be a problem in the United States and follows demographic trends.
Nationwide, 26.2% of Americans aged 18 and older were obese in 2012, unchanged from 26.1% in 2011. Of the 189 reportable metro areas surveyed in 2012, 102 had obesity rates lower than the national average. Nineteen of the 25 most populous metro areas surveyed boasted obesity rates lower than the national average. Smaller metro areas were more likely to have above-average obesity rates, consistent with past reporting.
In the 11 metro areas with the highest obesity rates, the average annual wages are lower than in the 10 areas with the lowest obesity rates, reflecting the link between obesity and poverty. The average annual wage in the 11 areas with the highest obesity rates is $38,550, this compares with an average annual income of $47,783 for the 10 areas with the lowest obesity rates. Additionally, residents in the most obese areas, on average, earn $7,240 below the national mean wage of $45,790, while residents of the least obese areas average $1,993 more annually than the national mean wage.
Residents in the areas with the highest obesity rates are also 7.9 percentage points less likely than are those in the areas where obesity is lowest to have enough money to be able to buy food at all times. They are also 6.5 points less likely to have enough money for healthcare and medicine.
According to the latest Gallup Poll
Americans were as likely to be obese in 2012 as they were in 2011. But the 26.2% who were obese in 2012 remains slightly higher than the 25.5% recorded in 2008. Another 36.1% of Americans were overweight in 2012 and about as many were a normal weight — 35.9%.
The 2012 data comprise more than 350,000 surveys of American adults. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index uses respondents’ self-reports of their height and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI) scores. Individual BMI values of 30 or above are classified as “obese,” 25 to 29.9 are “overweight,” 18.5 to 24.9 are “normal weight,” and 18.4 or less are “underweight.”
The World Health Organization further classifies BMIs of 30.00 or higher into one of three classes of obesity:
Obese class I = 30.00 to 34.99
Obese class II = 35.00 to 39.99
Obese class III = 40.00 or higher
Those with BMIs of 40 or higher — obese class III — are often considered “morbidly obese.” Based on self-reports of height and weight, 3.6% of American adults were “morbidly obese” in 2012. This is on par with 3.4% in 2011 and 3.5% in 2009 and 2010.
Here is a Gallup chart on obesity and demographic groups:
The bottom line is that there is much to do for better health.
Obesity is a preventable condition and with better education, Americans will be able to live longer and healthy.
Good news regarding exercise, in light of the report on obesity that was released the other day.
More Americans exercised frequently in August (54.7%) than did in the same month in past years — continuing a pattern Gallup and Healthways have found through most of 2012. In every month this year, except for April, more Americans reported exercising three or more days per week than did so in the same month for each of the past four years.
Gallup and Healthways ask 1,000 American adults daily about their exercise habits as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Specifically, Americans report how many days in the past seven they exercised for at least 30 minutes.
The uptick in frequent exercise this year has come amid “the warmest first eight months of any year on record” in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Whether there is a direct relationship between these warm temperatures and higher exercise levels — or it is mere coincidence — is not certain.
However, that Americans’ exercise habits are seasonal — they work out more in the spring and summer months and less in the fall and winter — points to the weather playing a role in their likelihood of exercising.
Good job, America!
And, while this slight increase may be seasonal and related to the weather, it is also possible that educational efforts promoting a healthy lifestyle may be having an effect.