By: CPMC Genetic Counseling Staff 
Reviewed by: Dyanne P. Westerberg, DO, Cooper University Hospital

Obesity is defined as the excessive storage of body fat. Being obese increases your risk for other serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Fortunately, even modest weight loss can prevent the development of health problems associated with obesity. Many people are able to successfully lose weight by changing behaviors, like increasing the amount of exercise and making healthier diet choices.

How Common is Obesity?



In the United States, more than one third (35.7%) of all adults are obese1. Broken down by state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.5% in Colorado to 34.7% in Louisiana in 2012. There are no states with a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. 

In nine states and the District of Columbia the prevalence of obesity is between 20 and 25% and in thirteen states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) the prevalence of obesity is equal to or greater than 30%2.

To schedule a free telephone consultation to discuss your CPMC results with a board-certified genetic counselor, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Learn more about Obesity, from symptoms to understanding your risk, through the links below.

Page References

Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Learn more about Obesity [ Learn More › ]

Risk Factors

Both genetic and non-genetic factors play a role in Obesity [ Learn More › ]

Reduce Your Risk

Risk-reducing behaviors for Obesity [ Learn More › ]

The CPMC Study

Learn how the CPMC Study identifies your risk for Obesity [ Learn More › ]