Each year, CNN releases its “Weight of the Union” – a ranking of each of the 50 states by obesity rate. The analysis is based the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System which is a state based system of health surveys established by the CDC in 1984 and is the largest ongoing telephone health survey in the world, tallying 400,000 adult interviews each year. Admittedly, their analysis has the validity concerns associated with self-reported data.
Based on the popularity of our Re-Ranking CNN’s Fittest Cities Blog, we decided to re-rank the fittest states using objectively measured data on the employed population. We took height measurement in inches and weight measurements in pounds from a few hundred thousand employees in the U.S. and calculated each person’s BMI.
Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher. So, we arranged the data by state and calculated the obesity percentage. We also included the average BMI by state for good measure.
The interactive map above provides a graphic of the fittest states with the darker shaded states having the highest obesity percentage. The sortable table below shows the rankings, obesity percentage and our calculated average BMI by state.
Adult Obesity Rate by State:
Self-reported information is a minefield that should be avoided and can provide the wrong direction for priorities and resources. In addition, those employers that are going to or already in an outcome based incentive program need to be very careful about using any self-reported information for baselines or measurements. Read our blog article to find out more about why self-reported data cannot be trusted.
Learn more how Onsite Health Diagnostics can help employers be safe, but effective in moving towards an outcomes based paradigm.