State-by-State: High Obesity Means High Cancer Risk

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America’s obesity epidemic stretches from coast to coast and encompasses every state, with twelve states having at least three of every ten residents obese, according to a new government survey.

Every state had at least 20 percent of its residents report they were obese, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey found. The estimates have severe implications for our country’s future cases of cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Obesity increases the risk of seven types of cancer, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

The estimates come from an annual telephone CDC survey, called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

The South had the highest prevalence of adult obesity, with Mississippi at the top at 35 percent. Western states reported the lowest overall obesity prevalence with Colorado coming in at the bottom, still having 21 percent of its residents reporting they were obese.

This year, CDC made some changes to improve their data collection and analysis. For example, they called cell phones for the first time as well as landlines.

The updates mean you cannot compare this year’s estimates to those of previous years. But still, obesity rates remain high. A different CDC survey released earlier this year estimated that more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. This survey included interviews, physical exams, and lab tests.

Want to find out where your state ranks? Look here.


    Author: Mya Nelson

    Mya R. Nelson is at American Institute for Cancer Research, where she writes about the research in the field.

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