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Obesity in Michigan

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Obesity in depth:

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Obesity by State

Percentage of adults with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher based on reported height and weight

Obesity Trends

Percentage of adults with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher based on reported height and weight

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About Obesity

US Value: 33.9%

Top State(s): Hawaii: 25.0%

Bottom State(s): West Virginia: 40.6%

Definition: Percentage of adults with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher based on reported height and weight

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Obesity is a complex health condition. Contributing factors to obesity include the social and physical environment, genetics, prenatal and early life influences, and behaviors such as poor diet and physical inactivity.

Adults who have obesity (a weight categorized as a BMI of 30 or higher based a person’s height and weight) are more likely to have decreased quality of life and increased risk of developing serious health conditions, such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, sleep apnea and breathing problems, some cancers and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Weight stigma, or discrimination and stereotyping based on an individual’s weight, may also negatively influence psychological and physical health. 

The costs associated with obesity and obesity-related health problems are staggering. One study estimated the medical costs of obesity to be $342.2 billion (in 2013 dollars). Beyond direct medical costs, the indirect costs of decreased productivity tied to obesity are estimated at $8.65 billion per year among American workers.

The prevalence of obesity among adults is higher among:

  • Men compared with women.
  • Adults ages 45-64 compared with adults ages 18-44 and 65 and older.
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Black adults compared with Asian adults.
  • Adults with less than a college education compared with college graduates. 
  • Adults with annual household incomes less than $25,000 compared with those with incomes of $75,000 or more.

Addressing obesity requires a multifaceted approach with efforts from policymakers, state and local government, health care, schools, child care, families and individuals. The built environment, health promotion, food policy and government regulations can support healthy behaviors and help prevent obesity. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers prevention strategies at state and local levels, community efforts and tips for living a healthy lifestyle. The Community Preventive Services Task Force has compiled a list of resources for community-level interventions that can lower obesity rates by supporting healthy eating and active living in various settings. Examples of policy recommendations that address obesity include: 

  • Increasing the price of sugary drinks.
  • Expanding funding to implement evidence-based obesity prevention programs.
  • Supporting pedestrian safety initiatives like Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets. 
  • Discouraging advertisements for unhealthy food that target children. 

The Healthy Weight Checklist is a resource for staying healthy; it provides information on eating healthy, getting enough sleep and physical activity, limiting screen time and reducing stress. The CDC recommends that pregnant women track their weight gain to promote healthy pregnancy weight.

Healthy People 2030 has several objectives for weight and nutrition including reducing the proportion of adults with obesity. They also have neighborhood and built environment objectives that promote healthy and safe environments for physical activity.

Andreyeva, Tatiana, Joerg Luedicke, and Y. Claire Wang. “State-Level Estimates of Obesity-Attributable Costs of Absenteeism.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 56, no. 11 (November 2014): 1120–27.

Biener, Adam, John Cawley, and Chad Meyerhoefer. “The High and Rising Costs of Obesity to the US Health Care System.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 32, no. S1 (April 2017): 6–8.

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