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Missoula Measures - Overweight & Obesity

graph montana adult obesity rate 1990-2010


Why this topic?

Obesity is the 2nd leading cause of preventable death in the US. It is also responsible for an increased risk of nearly 30 medical conditions, as well as reduced mobility. In addition, the social stigma associated with obesity can hamper employment opportunities and community interaction, leading to isolation and depression.

Overweight is defined as having a body mass index (weight [kg] / height [m2]) at or above the 85th percentile for age and sex based on the reference population of the CDC 2000 growth charts.  Obesity is a body mass index at or above the 95th percentile.

About BMI for adults - CDC

Calculating BMI

How are we doing?

Obesity levels have reached a crisis point in the US. The bad news: obesity rates are much higher than 15 years ago. The good news: rates have plateaued, especially for children.  However, it is projected that Montana will see chronic diseases in higher number, costing an additional $19,000 in medical expenses for each obese person over their lifetimes. (Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2014. The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.)

As of 2013, Montana has the seventh lowest adult obesity rate in the nation. The highest rate is 31.5%, in Mississippi and West Virginia, and the lowest is 21.3% in Colorado. Montana's adult obesity rate is 24.6%, up from 19.1% in 2004 and from 8.4% in 1990. (Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2014. The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.)

graph obesity rates by state 2013

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Increase the percent of adults who are at a healthy body weight  from 30.8% to 33.9%
  • Reduce the percent of adolescents and children who are obese from 16.2% to 14.6%

CDC Growth Charts

The US Dept of Health and Human Services sponsors the Healthy People objectives,
 a science-based, 10-year national plan for improving the health of all Americans.



Missoula children

graph percent of Missoula 3rd graders overweight or obese 2008-2013 


BMI Report, Missoula 3rd graders - 2009, 2010, 2011


Obese children are more likely to be obese adults: 80% of children overweight at age 15 were obese at age 25.  Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. N England Journal of Medicine 1997; 37(13):869–873.

Montana high school students

CDC, YRBS 2013

graph Montana high school obesity rate 2003-2013 


More Montana overweight data


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Related data


BARRIERS to a maintaining a health body weight:

RISK FACTORS associated with overweight and obesity:

CHRONIC DISEASES and health challenges associated with obesity: 


Obesity map. For data, see PowerPoint or PDF linked above.


See the above map in motion - 1985 to the present.


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Related websites

Health consequences of overweight and obesity - World Health Organization

Health issues for overweight teens - Kids Count

Physical Activity - Missoula

Overweight & Obesity Concerns - Missoula

State Obesity Trends - CDC, 1990 - 2008

More CDC Info

BMI information

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report - Obesity Rates Rise

US and Montana - Adult Obesity

Links to health data, statistics and information from many national sources.


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SOURCE: Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, McDowell MA, Tabak CJ, Flegal KM. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999--2004. JAMA 2006;295:1549--55.

Graph showing trends in adult overweight adn obesity, ages 20-74 over time.

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