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NEW: State of Obesity Maps and Data

Adult obesity rates now above 35% in nine states – up from seven a year ago – and new calls for policy change detailed: sugary drink taxes, SNAP, WIC and built environment.


The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) released its 16th annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new maps from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) detailing adult obesity rates in each state and territory. Combined, these new reports provide advocates like you new tools and resources for advancing policy change in your states and communities.

What’s the bottom line?

The new report and maps provide a stark picture of what each of you already knows: adult obesity is a great concern and rates continue to rise. In fact, within the last five years, 33 states had statistically significant increases.

What can we do?

There are many ways you can help improve health – and reduce obesity rates – in your community. The new report provides more than 30 recommendations, along with evidence, to help stem the tide. Remember that people in your community generally believe education is the best way to encourage behavior change. But helping children and adults achieve a healthy weight is a complex challenge and education is only one part of the solution. Be sure to reinforce consumer education as key to awareness building about the problem and solutions and emphasize other initiatives that drive system-wide policy change. For more tips on message framing, be sure to check out the Voices for Healthy Kids healthy weight messaging guide.

How do I use this data?

First, you can start by sharing this new report on social media with posts from @HealthyAmerica1 on Twitter and find your state’s new data online on State of Obesity. Second, now is a great time to write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor sharing your organization’s work to improve health in your community and calling on local leaders to step up and support action you are taking. Not sure how to get started with your media tactics? Our toolkits have sample Op-Eds and LTEs to help you out!