Apr 24, 2023 - News

More than a third of Floridians are obese

Share of population living with obesity
Data: NORC; Chart: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

In Florida, 38.2% of people have a BMI over 30, according to a new analysis from the University of Chicago's NORC.

  • An adult with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and between 25 and 30 is considered overweight.

Why it matters: Obesity is associated with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions that can lead to preventable, premature death, Axios' Arielle Dreher reports.

By the numbers: Around 16.5% of Floridians have a BMI higher than 35, and 6.8% higher than 40, according to NORC.

  • Obesity disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic Americans, the analysis found.

Yes, but: Florida is a little healthier than our compatriots.

  • Nationally, 42.7% of adults have a BMI over 30.
  • West Virginia and Mississippi have the country's highest obesity rates at 51%.

Zoom out: The District of Columbia had the lowest rate at 33%.

Between the lines: Obesity rates are determined in part by using Body Mass Index ranges, which have been called into question for correlating weight and health too closely, the New Yorker reports.

Of note: The NORC analysis was produced with funding from Novo Nordisk, a producer of both insulin and popular weight-loss drug Ozempic.

  • NORC's analysis and mapping tool used findings through 2021 based on telephone surveys by the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

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