Best Maps of 2013: Local Obesity Rates

While obesity is still prevalent in the U.S., for the first time the number of poor children who are obese dropped.

Credit: peachtreecorners.patch.com
Credit: peachtreecorners.patch.com
As the end of the year draws near, we will be highlighting the best data maps Patch has run in 2013. It's part of our Newscruncher series, which breaks down the characteristics of your town by the numbers. If you see any technical issues with this map, or if you'd like to suggest ideas for future Newscruncher articles, please email data@patch.com.

The interactive map above shows the change in the obesity rate for men or women across the state between 2001-2011. 

While enjoying holiday dinner with your friends or family, you might want to rethink eating that extra slice of pie.

Obesity, which contributes to the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, increased dramatically in the past 20 years. More than one-third of U.S. adults are considered obese. For children and adolescents, it’s 17 percent.

But there is some good news. For the first time in recent years, obesity among preschool-aged children in poor families actually went down.

Some suggestions to explain the decline include: an increase in breast-feeding, a drop in calories from sugary drinks, and changes in the food offered in federal nutrition programs for women and children. 

Nonetheless, about 300,000 deaths each year are still attributed to obesity.

How to Use the Map

Using your cursor, you can click on a county and see a popup window with the rates of obesity in 2001 and 2011, and the rate of change for that area. Use the button on the top of the interactive to change the map to represent either men or women. 

What do you think explains the differences across the area of the change in obesity rate? Tell us in a comment or a blog post.


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