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Photo: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of states where at least 35% of residents are obese has nearly doubled since 2018, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: Obesity rates in 16 states have now reached levels considered high by the CDC. That is up from 12 states in 2019 and nine in 2018.

  • Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas reached the 35% threshold in 2020, the CDC said.
  • Those states join Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The big picture: Obesity in adulthood can pose several health risks such as heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, per the CDC.

  • The CDC has warned that obesity increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

By the numbers: All states and territories have more than 20% of adults with obesity, according to the CDC.

  • Combined data from 2018 to 2020 found notable racial disparities, with states reporting higher rates of obesity among Black and Hispanic residents.
  • The Midwest and South had the highest prevalence of obesity, with both at a rate of about 34%, per the CDC.

What they're saying: "To change the current course of obesity will take a sustained, comprehensive effort from all parts of society," a statement from the CDC read.

  • "These maps help by showing where we need to focus efforts to prevent obesity and to support individuals with this disease."

Go deeper

Dec 18, 2021 - Health

COVID-19 deaths among pregnant people surged amid Delta, CDC data show

CDC director Rochelle Walensky during a meeting with President Biden and members of the COVID-19 Response Team on the Omicron variant in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The number of pregnant people who died of COVID-19 surged in August and September as the Delta variant spread nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out this week.

Why it matters: The data underscore the importance of pregnant people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as the quickly emerging Omicron variant starts to spread, according to CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

Updated Dec 26, 2021 - Axios NW Arkansas

The vax saved billions in GDP

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The COVID-19 vaccine generated economic savings of $438 billion — equal to 2.3% in the real gross domestic product — to the U.S. this year.

The big picture: Even though only 61% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, its widespread adoption reduced the overall burden on the health care system and kept much of the workforce well enough to stay productive.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.