Watch obesity overtake Maine and the rest of the country in this time-lapse map


The Washington Post reported this week that every single one of America’s 50 states now sports an obesity rate greater than 20 percent — Colorado was the last holdout, and now even the Centennial State has tipped the scales to reach an obesity rate of 21.3 percent.

Using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention annual maps from 1985 through 2010, we created a time-lapse map that shows how we reached this point.

In fact, according to the CDC, the statistically average adult American male — standing at 5 feet, 9 inches and weighing just under 196 pounds — is on the heavy end of the “overweight” range, with a body mass index of 28.9 (at 30, an individual is considered “obese”).

The statistically average adult American female — at 5 feet, 4 inches and 166 pounds — is in the same boat, with a BMI of 28.5.

If you want to see what progress we’ve made since 2010, check out the latest CDC map below:

Rates of obesity by state (CDC)

Rates of obesity by state (CDC)

BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell reported earlier this year that, according to the latest Gallup research, Mainers are actually starting to control their weight gain, at least compared to the rest of the country.

While a troubling 26 percent of Mainers do qualify as obese — more than one out of every four people — that’s lower than the 27.7 percent national average and represented a relatively strong showing as the 14th least obese state in the country.

That No. 14 ranking is a significant improvement compared to how the state fared just two years earlier, when Maine was all the way down at No. 31.

More recently, RTI International produced a map illustrating obesity rates at the neighborhood level, under the auspice that community-level fitness programs are shown to be most effective in battling obesity.

Watch the video below for a better understanding of the health risks associated with obesity, as well as the annual costs to American industry and health care.

Featured homepage image by Don LaVange used under Creative Commons license.