New data finds CT obesity rates grew by 25% from 2011 to 2022

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New data from the CDC finds that three in ten Connecticut adults (30.6%) were obese last year, up from one in four (24.5%) in 2011. While too high, Connecticut’s rate was 10th lowest among the states. The US average last year was 33.6%, up 21% from 2011. Connecticut’s rate was typical of surrounding states. The data is from the CDC’s annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) update.

Obesity is strongly linked with diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Connecticut and in the US. According to the BRFSS, Connecticut was 17th among states in the rate of adults with diabetes last year. One in ten of Connecticut adults (10.7%) have been told they have diabetes by a doctor compared to 11.6% of all American adults.

There are effective, evidence-based interventions that can reduce obesity rates. Access to affordable healthy food, safe places for physical activity, and community design can all help people get and stay at a healthy weight. There are roles for government, community leaders, healthcare providers, and all of us in making Connecticut healthier.

As in the past, obesity rates are not even across populations. Connecticut residents with less education, and people of color were more likely to be obese last year. Interestingly, Connecticut adults with household incomes between $25,000 and $35,000 were more likely to be obese (42.7%) than those with higher or lower incomes. State residents ages 45 to 54 were most likely to be obese at 33.7%; the lowest rate was for people ages 18 to 24 (19.6%). There was little difference between men’s and women’s rates (30.4% and 30.8%, respectively).