VIDEO: Watch the U.S. Get Fatter


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  29 comments   :  13,749 Views

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but does that still hold true when viewing an animated map demonstrating the rising rate of obesity here in the United States over the past 25 years?

We all know that obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, has been steadily rising across the country, especially in the south. It is a major risk factor for type II diabetes, liver disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease, however, even with these staggering statistics, we, as a nation, only continue to put on the pounds with each passing year as seen in the maps below.

Obesity not only leads to a greater risk of developing the diseases listed above, but this trend is beginning to place a burden on our healthcare system, our insurance industry, not to mention our quality of life. If we do not slow, or better yet, turn the tide on this epidemic, we will eventually all pay the cost for the choices we make.

Do maps like the one above have any effect on the way you live your life? Do you find they help or hinder the country's quest to get healthy? How do you feel about your own state's statistic?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
NEXT ENTRY >   A Liberating 'Naked' Run


  • 29
    True, BMI is not the best measure. But for comparison over the years, it still makes quite a statement. - 5/31/2011   6:17:43 AM
    I do not know why everyone believes in the BMI or why no one in the medical research field questioned its' validity. I was turned down by an insurance company for long term disability coverage based on the score I had placing me in the category of obese. No one believes me when I tell them my weight. I ran track in high school so have muscular legs and heavy bones I suppose.Iive in the south but I do not eat a lot of carbs nor do I fry my chicken,porkchops or fish.Salads,fruits,veggies are my staples.Iam a registered nurse so I know how to take care of my self and I am neither fat nor obese,yet the BMI says I am.
    , - 5/24/2011   6:36:35 PM
  • 27
    I feel like people in general look around and compare themselves to others. This may be a reflection of the "I am not as bad as ________...". Thoughts like these unknowingly give you permission to indulge even a little, if not more, because you aren't the "worst" out there.
    It is my strong opinion, however, that this is a direct results of having our food supply controlled almost completely by huge faceless companies who care more about their bottom line with little or no thought to the health of the people. Especially looking at the timeline of this video vs the timeline as the food supply was being taken over.
    It is time to get back to knowing where our food comes from and even being on a friendly basis with the people who produce high quality, local food. - 5/24/2011   10:17:30 AM
    I'm thankful I live in Colorado, the only state with less than 20% obesity, but even here the rates are going up. It's really a horrible situation. Thanks for Sparkpeople for making a difference - wonder what the numbers would be without SP!?! - 5/22/2011   11:16:25 PM
  • 25
    I travel quite a bit and am surprised that California is not higher! - 5/22/2011   7:22:13 PM
  • 24
    Honestly wondering where all the statistics come from. Doubt everyone is volunterring their information to help this study. - 5/22/2011   4:10:09 PM
  • 23
    Wow, that is really scary how fast obesity is on the rise! - 5/22/2011   1:52:02 PM
    Spark Iowa is working on lowering that statistic, and I agree BMI formulas are one measurement that is not always correct! - 5/22/2011   11:45:57 AM
  • 21
    I love that I am a Colorado native and returned to make my home in this beautiful healthy state. - 5/22/2011   2:00:08 AM
  • 20
    Wow!!!! I love the one with music best as it stops and emphasizes each upward increment! Makes me want to move back to Colorado where I grew up but New Mexico wasn't too far behind. I don't know how we could get this out more but I think everyone should see it!!!

    I do agree with CECE0330 that the BMI is a somewhat flawed statistic but we need to start somewhere with a general gauge. (By the way- I feel I need to lose a few pounds more even though my BMI is in the normal range. It does depend on body type!) - 5/21/2011   8:58:42 PM
    Doesn't anyone go out and play anymore? What an eye opener. I live on LI and in the 20-24%. How long before we're in the red?? - 5/21/2011   11:46:50 AM
  • 18
    Wow...quite a video - what on earth is happening to people? Probably doing less physical work, more TV, videos games, etc and food at every event that you go to. Not just food but large portions!!! So, I guess we do it to ourselves. I don't live in the USA but likely very similar here in Canada - 5/21/2011   11:12:10 AM
  • 17
    Quite the visual. This info (presuming it's accurate) should be shown on TV, like a public service announcement. A quick way to raise awareness. Wow. - 5/21/2011   10:40:22 AM
    we seriously need to do something - 5/21/2011   8:31:37 AM
  • 15
    I was cleaning out some cabinets in my kitchen a few days ago and I came across a cereal bowl from a set of dishes that I received at my shower when I married my first husband 41 years ago and it dawned on me that this bowl was a LOT SMALLER than the ones we use today, but it holds one serving of dry cereal and I realized that when I eat cereal I fill the larger bowl nearly full, then I thougt "no wonder me and so many other people are fat," (you can call it whatever you like, but that is what it is) so now I am using that tiny little bowl to eat cereal, it holds exactly one serving of cereal with just enough room for 1/2 cup of milk. How did the cereal bowls grow up so fast? - 5/21/2011   8:23:30 AM
    I moved from the pacific northwest to the south 10 years ago. I allowed my diet to change which has really put my body into culture shock and packed on the weight... and I'm still pretty thin for most people in my area! This is sad. The cultural norms are not easy to change. People don't want to try new things, they have been raised to eat a certain way, that comfort cooking, home cooked - soul food. PLUS - in most small towns there are few options... at fast food places you pay less to get more... a salad costs more and you get less. A large size meal deal is cheaper and you get really, really full... the sign to most people that you are satisfied and got the most for your money. It is cheaper and more convenient with today's busy lives to eat out than it is to eat at home. ALL this is slowly changing, but it takes time, effort and continuous reinforcement to the community that IT REALLY IS WORTH IT! Shows like the biggest loser can be very inspiring for this reason, as can this website! - 5/21/2011   7:32:06 AM
  • 13
    Ugh....but first of all, PLEASE, let's recognize the BMI is BOGUS!!!!! Ridiculous! Antiquated! Are a lot of people unhealthy? YES! but I detest that BMI is used to gauge this. My DH is 6'4", weighs 235 lbs and is considered by BMI charts to be "overweight" despite the fact that he lifts weights 5 times a week and is EXTREMELY muscular.

    BMI labels me as overweight as well until I get under 145. With thick muscular legs and a huge chest, I have doubts getting under 145 will even be possible. But yet I'm classified as overweight. Never mind my cholesterol is 158, my blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose, pulse are all right where they should be. And that i'm a fitness instructor.

    So yes, we KNOW we need to get healthier as a nation. But for the love of god, PLEASE stop using the freaking BMI data as a gauge. (and while I'm at it, what about the 5'7" woman in my office who weighs 125 but will ALWAYS be on medication due to her horrible, horrible lifestyle choices? Is that REALLY any better???????)
    - 5/20/2011   4:47:22 PM
  • 12
    Excellent information! - 5/20/2011   4:13:11 PM
  • 11
    So, 1992 was the last year that any state had less than 10% obesity? Then it all went up from there?!? That's terrible! We really do need to make some changes and promote awareness. - 5/20/2011   3:25:33 PM
  • 10
    AWESOME article Thank you so much for sharing. - 5/20/2011   2:14:09 PM
  • 9
    and yet we're "producing" more processed convenience foods than ever before... - 5/20/2011   11:40:04 AM
  • 8
    I am fortunate to live in Colorado - the leanest state in the USA with the lowest rate of obesity. But even here in the leanest state, over half of the adult population is either overweight or obese. . . over half! - 5/20/2011   11:35:05 AM
  • 7
    What I find frightening is that every single state in the nation has seen an exponential rise in obesity over the last 10 years. The worst of the increase really has been since 2000. Why are people getting bigger instead of smaller ? That's what I don't understand.

    - 5/20/2011   10:44:52 AM
    I noticed some states were not on a decline, and had improved.
    - 5/20/2011   10:13:50 AM
  • 5
    Yikes! I don't wanna be orange! - 5/20/2011   9:46:35 AM
  • 4
    Living in one of the worst states for rising obesity rates just makes me want to spread the spark even further! And rejoice that I managed to escape the mentality and lifestyle that leads to obesity! - 5/20/2011   9:08:26 AM
  • 3
    Nice to know that my state was in there at the head of the pack (insert sarcasm font). And to think, I'm contributing to that demographic. Ugh. Time to hop back on the treadmill and rectify this because I didn't realize it was like that. Just wow. - 5/20/2011   7:52:15 AM
  • __IZZA__
    I think videos like these are good for people to understand that obesity is a big problem and probably more common than you think.

    I don't live in the US but every time I hear on the news that more people are becoming obese in my country I think that I am going to lower that percentage by losing weight, that if I get fit there is one person less that is obese. That is the way if affects me. - 5/20/2011   6:55:40 AM
  • 1
    That video is scary! I still shiver after watching it. There are some areas that decrease but unfortunately increase back. I'm not in state but we have our obesity concern in this country, especially when more people work at the desk but still eating like farmers and fisherman like our ancestors. And our local delicacies usually have lots of sugar and people always eating them daily during tea breaks, high tea, meeting and it seems to be all the time! - 5/20/2011   6:48:08 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.