Obesity is one of the worst risks facing financial professionals’ clients.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fed new state-level obesity prevalence survey data for 2016 into its Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) portal last week.
Many historic and demographic factors may affect the obesity rate for a given community.
One way to filter out some of those effects is to compare obesity rates for members of different age groups in the same commuities. People of different ages in the same community may have some differences, but they’re all eating the same types of food, breathing the same air and fighting off the same germ.
In about half the states, obesity rates for millennials who were ages 25 to 34 last year are lower than the obesity rates for people ages 65 and up.
In the median state, Maryland, about 28% of the 25-34 millennials, and 29% of the residents ages 65 and older, said they were obese. That means that the obesity rate gap for the two populations was negative 1 percentage points: the people in 25-34 were somewhat more likely to be of normal weight than people ages 65 and older.
State millennial-to-senior obesity rate gaps for 2016 range from negative 7.5 percentage points in Wisconsin up to 10.3 percentage points in another jurisdiction.
In a state in which younger adults are much more likely than seniors to be obese, obesity could lead to increases in all sorts of problems, including problems with getting clients through medical underwriting processes.
For a look at the states with the highest obesity rate gaps between the 25-34 age group and the 65-and-older age group, along with a table that gives data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, read on.
Obesity rate, 25-34 age group: 28.5%
Obesity rate, 65+ age group: 25.9%
Difference: +2.6 percentage points
Obesity rate, 25-34 age group: 33.7%
Obesity rate, 65+ age group: 31%
Difference: +2.7 percentage points
8. West Virginia
Obesity rate, 25-34 age group: 35.4%
Obesity rate, 65+ age group: 32.4%
Difference: 3 percentage points
7. New Hampshire
Obesity rate, 25-34 age group: 29.9%
Obesity rate, 65+ age group:26.5%
Difference: 3.4 percentage points