For the first time since data has been tracked, the U.S adult obesity rate passed 40 percent – 42.4 percent of U.S. adults have obesity. In 2019, 12 U.S. states (AL, AR, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, OK, SC, TN and WV) had adult obesity rates at or above 35 percent, up from zero states above the 35 percent mark as recently as 2012. In 2020, these statistics take on new significance: recent studies have shown that people with obesity who get COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and end up in intensive care than individuals without obesity.

Obesity is estimated to increase national healthcare spending by $149 million annually, about besity is estimated to increase national healthcare spending by $149 billion annually, about half of which is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. This year’s report finds that rates of U.S. obesity continue to climb, and racial, ethnic, income and geographic disparities persist. The report also features a special section on the connection between food insecurity and obesity, an issue that has become especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Briefing speakers will cover the latest national obesity rates and trends, highlight promising approaches states and localities have undertaken to ensure healthy communities, and offer policy recommendations that incorporate innovative approaches that are making a difference and prioritize efforts that help all Americans lead healthier lives.

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