Weight of the union: Obesity by state

Updated 8:15 AM EDT, Tue September 22, 2015
Obesity rates by state in the U.S.
Obesity rates by state in the U.S.
Now playing
01:23
How to stop mindless eating
empty plate
Banana Stock
empty plate
Now playing
01:01
Intermittent fasting may help you live longer
David McNew/Getty Images
Now playing
01:03
Get outside to improve your health
Photo Illustration/Thinkstock
Now playing
01:04
This string may help you live to be 100
Now playing
01:10
Is sitting the new smoking?
Now playing
01:11
Put down that energy drink!
Shutterstock
Now playing
01:13
Cut this food and extend your life
Meditation has become increasingly popular in the West since the 1960s.
Courtesy Katrin Wuertemberger/Bongarts/Getty Images
Meditation has become increasingly popular in the West since the 1960s.
Now playing
01:19
How every person can benefit from meditation
wine glasses
Comstock
wine glasses
Now playing
01:17
Drink this daily and you may live longer
Shutterstock
Now playing
01:20
How listening to music helps your brain
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 01:  Race goes enjoy the atmosphere during The Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse November 1, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 01: Race goes enjoy the atmosphere during The Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse November 1, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:13
Saying this word can extend your life
MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 09:  FC Bayern Muenchen sporting manager Matthias Sammer laughs during a press conference at the Bayern Muenchen training ground on July 9, 2014 in Munich, Germany.  (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Image
MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 09: FC Bayern Muenchen sporting manager Matthias Sammer laughs during a press conference at the Bayern Muenchen training ground on July 9, 2014 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:20
Does laughing make you healthier?
A fruit plate is seen at the Buchinger-Wilhelmi Clinic in Ueberlingen, southern Germany, on March 24, 2014. High-end clinics specialising in deprivation rather than pampering are all the rage in Germany, one of the homes of the fasting movement, and in some cases it is even covered by health insurance plans. AFP PHOTO/CHRISTOF STACHE        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A fruit plate is seen at the Buchinger-Wilhelmi Clinic in Ueberlingen, southern Germany, on March 24, 2014. High-end clinics specialising in deprivation rather than pampering are all the rage in Germany, one of the homes of the fasting movement, and in some cases it is even covered by health insurance plans. AFP PHOTO/CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:21
The best diets have this in common
Beautiful girl sleeps in the bedroom, lying on bed, isolated
shutterstock
Beautiful girl sleeps in the bedroom, lying on bed, isolated
Now playing
01:27
To get good sleep, set thermostat at this
Now playing
01:31
Do this at 50 and you could live to 100
Getty Images
Now playing
01:38
Trick your kids into eating healthy

Story highlights

Arkansas is the state with the highest rates of obesity, Colorado the lowest

U.S. spends $147 billion annually on obesity related issues

(CNN) —  

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control find that while adult obesity rates remain steady, they are still high around the country.

In a state-by-state analysis, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi were states with the highest adult obesity rates. Hawaii, the District of Columbia and Colorado had the lowest rates. While the Midwest had the greatest prevalence of obesity, the South was not far behind and was home to seven of the states with the highest obesity rates in the nation. Obesity rates have been steadily rising since the 1990s. In 2013, Mississippi and West Virginia were the first two states to ever report more than 35% of their adult population as obese.

Related: U.S. kids outweigh Canadian kids, says study

“We’re seeing some regional differences and that provides us a chance to … see what’s going on at the state level, and do some comparisons there,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit organization devoted to modernizing the public health system.

According to the CDC, more than a third of U.S. adults are obese and around 17% of children are obese. The study puts the obesity rate for African-American adults at 47.8%, Latino adults at 42.5% and white adults at 32.6%.

Related: Obesity in the U.S. Fast Facts

Heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are all obesity-related conditions, and are some of the leading causes of preventable death. Annually, the U.S. spends $147 billion on obesity-related issues. The medical costs of those who are obese are about $1,500 more than someone of normal weight.

Obesity was measured by using Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of a person’s weight to height. The data was collected as part of the CDC’s Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey of state health departments. Each person self-reported their weight and height, which researchers used to calculate BMI. Researchers note that self-reporting may underestimate actual obesity rates.