Obesity has become a nationwide epidemic. For the last 20 years, the number of people who are overweight and obese has increased dramatically. The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) 2008 statistics found that sixty-six percent of US adults are considered overweight or obese. Obesity affects all ages and all races, but it is especially high among African Americans and Hispanics. Blacks have a 51 percent higher rate of obesity and Hispanics have a 21 percent higher rate than whites.

Children also have become much heavier. CDC’s 2008 figures revealed that more than 17 percent of adolescents, ages 12-19, are obese. Seventeen percent of children ages 6-11 and more than 12 percent of children between 2 and 5 are obese.

According to the CDC, the obesity rate in South Carolina was the tenth highest in the nation in 2009. This number is alarming. 29.4 percent of South Carolina adults are obese. That is almost one in three.

Adult Overweight and Obesity Rates in South Carolina

Years % Overweight % Obese Total %
2000 36.9 22.0 58.9
2003 35.8 24.5 60.3
2006 36.0 29.4 65.4
2008 35.2 30.7 65.9

Based on CDC National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Prevalence and Trends Data (http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss).

There are ways we can fight the growth of obesity in South Carolina. We can reduce rates by making lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and exercise. If we make better choices we lower our risk for obesity and the serious health problems that come with it, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Learn the facts of obesity and what you can do to end the epidemic.

To learn more:

About Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
(SC Department of Health and Environmental Control)
SCDHEC provides statistics and discusses how behavior and lifestyle lead to overweight.
Overweight and Obesity in South Carolina Adults
(South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control)
A two-page fact sheet on the number of overweight and obese people in South Carolina. It also lists the effects of obesity and what people can do to combat it.
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Written by: Maya Hollinshead B.A.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Wednesday November 06, 2019 3:50 PM