Adult Obesity

Obesity is a growing national problem in America. Defined by the CDC as a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher, obesity is highly correlated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. It also can lead to significant increases in healthcare costs. Obesity is particularly prevalent in areas of concentrated poverty. It increases overall economic and health-related burdens on both individuals and the community.

Peer City Perspective

Among its peer cities, Louisville currently ranks 5th in the percent of adults who are 20 and older and are in the obese range — 31.1%.

On this metric, Louisville ranks in the middle tier of its peer group according to a natural breaks algorithm. Cities in green are those that outperform their peers. Cities in yellow represent the middle cluster, and those in red lag behind their peers on this indicator.

Trends over Time

In Louisville, the obesity rate among adults 20 and older reached a peak around 2010. Since that point, it has decreased and leveled off, where it now sits just a few tenths of a percentage point above the average rate of its peers. Overall, across peer cities, the average obesity rate has generally increased over the last decade.

Best and Worst Peer Performers

Generally, the obesity rate among adults 20 and older has increased over the last decade. That is why even the best performer of the group, Cincinnati, saw an increase in its obesity rate: by about 5 percentage points. Meanwhile, the worst peer performer, Greensboro, saw its adult obesity rate climb by more than 11 percentage points. Louisville’s obesity rate has risen and fallen over the period, but it has ultimately risen less than the rate of its peers.

Differences by Sex

The adult obesity rate in Louisville among men and women has largely risen and fallen in tandem since 2004. However, in recent years, the rates have diverged. The male obesity rate appears to be on a downward trajectory while the female obesity rate appears to be staying relatively constant.