U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Overweight and Obesity

Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of numerous diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, certain types of cancer, and reproductive health risks.1 Measurements of overweight and obesity are based on Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a ratio of weight to height. In 2007, 36.9 percent of adults in the U.S. border region reported themselves to be overweight (BMI of 25.0–29.9), while an additional 26.1 percent reported themselves to be obese (BMI of 30.0 or more). These rates were similar to those of the total U.S. population; 36.6 percent of adults reported themselves to be overweight, while 26.3 percent reported themselves to be obese (data not shown).2

Overall, women and men in the U.S. border region had similar rates of obesity (26.4 and 25.8 percent, respectively), but men were more likely than women to be overweight (45.3 versus 28.5 percent, respectively; data not shown). Obesity among women varied by level of education. In 2007, women with less than a high school diploma were most likely to be obese (38.9 percent) followed by women with some college or technical school training (32.0 percent). Women who were college or technical school graduates were least likely to report being obese (15.9 percent).

Rates of obesity among women in the U.S. border region also varied by race and ethnicity. Among women in 2007, Hispanics were more likely to be obese (31.6 percent) than non-Hispanic White women (23.3 percent) and non-Hispanic women of other races (17.2 percent). Rates of overweight did not vary significantly among women by race and ethnicity.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Overweight and Obesity. November 2007[online]. www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity, accessed 2/13/09.
2 These percentages differ from those presented on page 35 because they are based on a survey that collected selfreported height and weight information. The percentages on page 35 are based on actual physical measurements.

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