USA Obesity Percentages From 2012 to 2022

Only three states have a sub-25-percent obesity percentage as of 2022.

A lot has changed in the United States since 2012. Twelve years into the new millennium and the music video for the song “Gangnam Style” by Psy became the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube. In 2014, the Ice Buckett Challenge, which tasked participants with pouring ice water over their heads to raise awareness for ALS, led to $115 million going toward its research.

The Paris Agreement, a legally binding document to lower greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, was adopted by 196 parties, including the US, in 2015. That same year, same-sex marriage was legalized across all 50 states. In 2018, Apple Inc., with its headquarters in Cupertino, CA, became the first publicly traded company worth $1 trillion. Countless other cultural, political, and historical events that occurred in the US since 2012, but so has the trend of rising obesity across its population, which has grown from just under 317 million in 2012 to over 338 million in 2022.

During that decade, only one state managed to maintain its obesity percentage: Florida at 26 percent. Every other state saw its population’s obesity percentage rise by at least one point. New Mexico suffered the most significant increase of any state, jumping from 24 percent obesity in 2012 32 percent in 2022, an increase of eight points. Check out each state’s obesity percentages in the infographic below:

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A whopping 38 states have obesity percentages of 30 percent or greater as of 2022. In 2012, only 16 states had obesity percentages of 30 percent or more. Two states — West Virginia and Mississippi — have an obesity percent of 40 percent or more. As of 2022, West Virginia is at 40 percent, and Mississippi is the most obese state at 41 percent. At least one out of every four people in every state is considered obese, except for California, Massachusetts, and Colorado. Those three states are just shy of that metric, each at 24 percent obesity in 2022.

When each state is graded on a curve, Colorado was the best-performing state with an eight-point decrease despite its population’s obesity percentage increasing by four points. Massachusetts wasn’t far behind with a seven-point drop despite an obesity percentage bump of one percent. West Virginia and Mississippi fared poorest even when graded on a curve. Mississippi leaped eight points, and West Virginia increased by nine points.

Featured image via Shutterstock/Josef Hanus