The RWJF DataHub tracks state-level data and allows users to customize and visualize facts and figures on key health and health care topics. It's part of the Foundation’s commitment to providing timely, accessible information and evidence to inform policies and practices that help Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need. It establishes a system of priority measures for monitoring state-level progress toward improving the nation’s health and health care.
Health Statistics You Can Visualize, Customize & Share
The RWJF DataHub interactive visualizations are available only on tablet and desktop devices.
Having access to reliable data is critical to any effort to improve this nation’s health and health care. Providing information in ways that makes it easy to use and visualize magnifies the power of good data. ”
David C. Colby, PhD, vice president of Research and Evaluation
What the Numbers Say
Mississippi Has the Highest Rate of Obesity
Considerable variation exists in obesity rates among states and by race and ethnicity.
America is struggling with an obesity epidemic with more than one in four people in this country considered to be obese. To see the full picture of the nation’s struggle with weight, it’s important to examine the variations in obesity rates among the states and by race and ethnicity.
Significant variations exist in both the rates of obesity and in the growth of obesity across the states. In Colorado, for example, 20 percent of the population is obese, compared to 35 percent in Mississippi, which has the highest rate of obesity in America.
State-level disparities increase when obesity rates are examined by race and ethnicity. Nationally, the rate of obesity among African-Americans is approximately 1.5 times the rate among whites, but it is even higher when the figures are broken down by state. In Washington D.C., African-Americans experience obesity rates nearly four times as high as whites, and in Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Wisconsin rates are nearly twice as high. Racial disparities also exist in obesity growth rates among the states. Between 2001 and 2010, obesity rates increased the most among Hispanics—particularly in Texas, Georgia, California and Illinois.
These disparities are especially troubling among children. The majority of American youth are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity (60 minutes per day), and few states are implementing policy related to nutrition, screening, and physical activity in schools. As of January 2011, only three states (Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee) had implemented policies on BMI screening or other weight assessment in schools, requirements for a certain amount or level of physical activity in schools, and nutritional standards for schools that are stronger than the USDA’s. Eighteen states (Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming) had not implemented any of these policies.
Sources and notes: SHADAC analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data. Two years of BRFSS data were pooled to produce state-level estimates for adults.
Information on state policies were obtained from F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).
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