Friday, July 8, 2011

Obesity Rates by Race and Sex

Report out today, detailing just how fat we are getting.  F as in Fat, by the Trust for America's Health (http://healthyamericans.org/report/88/).
 
On average, Whites are least obese (25.5%), Latinos in the middle (29.2), Blacks are the most obese (36.0).  [Asians and Native Americans were not part of the data.]   Analyzing the data, there were some surprises.
 
Odd State results
 
Blacks were less-obese than Whites in four states: South Dakota (-8%), Montana (-5.8%), North Dakota (-3.8%), and Vermont (-2.6%).  Blacks are less-obese than Latinos also in four states: North Dakota (-14.1%), South Dakota (-9.1), Montana (-5.8%), and Wyoming (-3.1%).
 
The biggest gaps between Whites and Blacks are in DC (-25.1%), Alaska (-20.7%), Wisconsin (-19.3%), Connecticut (-18.7%), Delaware (-16.5%), and North Carolina (-15.7%).
 
Whites were the most obese group in only two states: Vermont (W: 23.6%, B: 21%, L: 20.8%), and (with a tie) Montana (W: 22.9%, B: 17.1%, L: 22.9%).
 
--The fittest Whites are spread out through the nation: D.C. (9.3%), Colorado (18.3%), Hawaii (19.3%), Connecticut (20.8%), and New Mexico (20.8%).
--The most obese Whites, however, are concentrated in a clear "Fat Belt": West Virginia (32.1%), Kentucky (31%), Tennessee (30.5%), Mississippi (30.4%), Arkansas (29.8%), Oklahoma (29.7%), Missouri (29.5%)
 
Blacks exhibit the opposite pattern. 
--The fittest are concentrated in the northern plains states of Montana (17.1%), South Dakota (20.1%), and North Dakota (23.6%)  [along with the outlier Vermont (21%)].   
--The most obese Blacks are scattered: Wisconsin (45.8%), Alaska (45%), Kentucky (43.2%), Mississippi (42.6%), Delaware (42.5%), Alabama (42.4%), North Carolina (42.4%), Kansas (41.8%). 
 
 
It is harder to find a pattern among the Latinos.  Latinos tended to be fitter in places farther away from Mexico, perhaps mirroring the differences in Latino ethnic groups (Mexican versus Puerto Rican/Cuban). 
--Least obese Latinos were found in D.C. (18.1%), Vermont (20.8%), Maine (21%), Wisconsin (21.1%), Montana (22.9%), New Hampshire (24%). 
--However, the most obese Latinos can be found anywhere (i.e. not just in proximity to Mexico): South Carolina (38.2%), North Dakota (37.7%), Texas (36%), Missouri (35.4%), Kansas (34.7%), Pennsylvania (34.5%), and Kentucky (33.3%).
 
Obesity by Sex and Race
 
White men were more obese than White women on average, and in every state except one (Alaska). 
 
Among Blacks, the opposite was true, including some truly amazing imbalances.  In Arizona, for example, 19.7% of Black men are obese, compared to 52.7% of the Black women!   Black women were more obese than Black men in all but five states (Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota).  
 
The average obesity rates (***) confirm what you probably would guess based on personal observation, putting them all in order:
White women (23.8%)
White men (27.3)
Latino Women (28.7%)
Latino Men (29.4%)
Black men (31.8%)
Black women (38.5%)
 
***note: these are not true population averages, just the average of the 50 states. For blacks especially, these will be inaccurate (on the low side), because the states with the lowest black obesity averages have minuscule numbers of actual black people.
 
 
Summary of Data by State, in order of obesity percent
 
Whites
DC 9.3
CO 18.3
HI 19.3
CN 20.8
NM 20.8
CA 21.8
MA 21.8
MT 22.9
UT 23
NJ 23.1
AZ 23.3
RI 23.3
VT 23.6
FL 24.1
NV 24.1
NY 24.1
AK 24.3
MD 24.3
WY 24.6
ID 25.1
MN 25.2
VA 25.2
OR 25.3
IL 25.5
GA 25.6
NH 25.8
DE 26
WA 26.2
WI 26.5
ME 26.7
NC 26.7
TX 26.7
NE 27
ND 27.4
SC 27.4
PA 27.7
IA 28.1
SD 28.1
KS 28.4
LA 28.4
OH 28.7
IN 28.8
AL 29
MI 29.1
MO 29.5
OK 29.7
AR 29.8
MS 30.4
TN 30.5
KY 31
WV 32.1
 
 
Blacks
 
 
 
MT
17.1
SD
20.1
VT
21
ND
23.6
CO
27.9
MN
28.2
NV
28.5
WY
28.9
MA
30.5
NY
31.4
NM
31.7
ME
32.2
NH
32.5
IA
33
WA
33.8
DC
34.4
HI
35.3
RI
35.6
CA
35.8
NJ
35.9
AZ
35.9
MD
36.3
IN
37
UT
37.1
VA
37.2
GA
38.1
OR
38.2
MO
38.2
TX
38.5
FL
38.8
CN
39.5
IL
39.5
PA
39.5
LA
39.5
WV
39.5
NE
39.6
SC
40.3
OH
40.8
TN
40.9
MI
41.1
OK
41.3
AR
41.5
KS
41.8
NC
42.4
AL
42.4
DE
42.5
MS
42.6
KY
43.2
AK
45
WI
45.8
ID
na

 
Latinos
 
DC 18.1
VT 20.8
ME 21
WI 21.1
MT 22.9
NH 24
CO 24.8
VA 25.1
OR 25.4
NC 26
NV 26.5
NJ 26.8
HI 27
MN 27.1
NY 27.2
MD 27.4
UT 27.4
IN 28.4
AK 28.6
FL 28.7
MO 29
CN 29
MA 29.1
SD 29.2
LA 29.3
IA 29.5
ID 29.6
WV 29.7
AR 30.1
TN 30.3
OK 30.3
WA 30.4
CA 30.6
NM 30.7
AL 30.7
RI 30.9
IL 31.5
DE 31.5
NE 31.8
WY 32
AZ 32.3
OH 32.5
GA 32.7
MI 32.9
KY 33.1
PA 34.5
KS 34.7
MS 35.4
TX 36
ND 37.7
SC 38.2

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