America's Health Rankings, United Health Foundation Logo


Obesity is a complex health condition with biological, economic, environmental, individual and societal causes. Adults with obesity are at increased risk of developing serious health conditions such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Download the PDF for details

National and state findings

In 2018-2019, 30.0% of U.S. women ages 18-44 had a body mass index of 30.0 or higher, affecting roughly 14.7 million women. Obesity among women was highest in Mississippi (43.5%), Arkansas (42.4%) and Louisiana (39.4%); it was lowest in Colorado (21.1%) and Massachusetts (22.1%). Among children ages 10-17 in the U.S., nearly 32.1% — roughly 10.3 million — were overweight or obese for their age in 2019-2020. Overweight or obesity among youth was 1.8 times higher in West Virginia (41.2%) than in Utah (22.8%).
Between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019, the prevalence of obesity among women increased 9% nationally from 27.4%, a rise of roughly 1.1 million women ages 18-44. It also significantly increased 26% in New Mexico (27.9% to 35.2%), 19% in Utah (21.3% to 25.3%), 18% in New York (21.4% to 25.2%) and 13% in Kansas (30.8% to 34.8%). Since 2013-2014, the obesity rate among U.S. women ages 18-44 increased 16% from 25.9%.
Download the PDF for details

Download the PDF for details

Subpopulation findings

Among women, obesity rates varied by race and ethnicity, age, income and educational attainment in 2018-2019. Compared with Asian women, who had the lowest obesity rate at 8.6%, obesity was 3.2 times higher among white women (27.5%), the group with the second lowest rate, and 5.0 times higher among Black women (43.4%), the group with the highest rate. Obesity rates among women increased significantly with each increase in age group and income level. The rate of obesity among women ages 25-44 was lowest among college graduates (23.3%) compared with all other education groups.
Between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019, obesity rates increased in certain age, racial and ethnic, educational attainment and income groups: 13% among women ages 18-24 (18.0% to 20.4%), 10% among women ages 25-34 (29.0% to 32.0%) and 6% among women ages 35-44 (33.0% to 35.0%). Obesity rates rose 10% among Black (39.6% to 43.4%) and white (25.0% to 27.5%) women. Obesity rates rose 17% among women ages 25-44 who are college graduates (20.0% to 23.3%) and 11% among those with some college education (34.3% to 38.0%) and 18% among those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more (20.4% to 24.1%), 13% among those with an income of $50,000-$74,999 (29.5% to 33.2%) and 8% among those with an income less than $25,000 (40.3% to 43.5%).

Please tell us a little more about you

We appreciate you taking the time to help America’s Health Rankings better understand our audiences. Your feedback will allow us to optimize our website and provide you with additional resources in the future. Thank you.

Please select one option which best describes your profession or field of expertise

Journalist or media professional
Health Policy Professional
Public health professional (state, local, or community level)
Health care provider or administrator
Member of an advocacy group or trade organization
Academic, student, or researcher
Government administrator, legislator, or staffer
Concerned citizen
Don't show me this again
Please take a quick survey.