Tuesday Trivia: With obesity more prevalent, where does Tennessee rank?

J. H. Osborne • Apr 2, 2019 at 1:21 PM

This week's Tuesday Trivia: which region of the country has the highest rate of obesity?

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the South had the highest self-reporting obesity rate in 2017, at 32.4 percent. The Midwest wasn't far behind at 32.3 percent. The Northeast was at 27.7 percent, and the West was at 26.1 percent.

Our states

Tennessee's obesity prevalence was 32.8 percent, while Virginia's was 30.1 percent.

Education level

Obesity decreased by level of education. Adults without a high school degree or equivalent had the highest self-reported obesity (35.6 percent), followed by high school graduates (32.9 percent), adults with some college (31.9 percent) and college graduates (22.7 percent).


Young adults were half as likely to have obesity as middle-aged adults. Adults aged 18-24 years had the lowest self-reported obesity (16.5 percent) compared to adults aged 45-54 years, who had the highest prevalence (35.8 percent).

State rankings

• For the year 2017, obesity prevalence varied across the nation's states and territories.

• All states had more than 20 percent of adults with obesity.

• 20 percent to 25 percent of adults had obesity in only two states — Colorado and Hawaii — and the District of Columbia.

• 25 percent to 30 percent of adults had obesity in 19 states.

• Tennessee and Virginia were among the 22 states — along with Guam and Puerto Rico — where between 30 percent and 35 percent of adults had obesity.

• In seven states, more than 35 percent of adults had obesity: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention