Skip to main content

Minnesota's obesity rate unchanged between 2018 and 2019

There is extra concern over obesity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scales

Minnesota's obesity rate remained unchanged between 2018 and 2019, according to figures released by the Department of Health this week.

The state's adult obesity rate stayed at 30.1% in 2019, matching the record high in 2019 which itself came after several years of rises, with the rate having been at 25.5% in 2013.

A person is considered clinically obese when their body-mass index (BMI) is over 30. Minnesota's rate remains below the national average of 31.4%, and also lower than neighboring states North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

There is a particular focus on obesity this year, given that it is considered one of the "underlying conditions" that can put an individual at greater risk of suffering severe complications from COVID-19.

"We have learned that obesity is one of the factors that can make a case of COVID-19 much worse and hospitalization more likely,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.

“These numbers highlight how many Minnesotans share this risk and the importance of us protecting each other with masking and social distancing. It also shows the importance of our ongoing community efforts to prevent obesity through individual and community-level responses, such as smart policy changes that support access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity."

The health department suggests that as well as taking precautions to prevent infection from COVID – such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing – people with obesity should look to be active, eat a healthy diet that supports immune function, get enough sleep, and take any medications they have been prescribed for underlying conditions.

How obesity is calculated, and its limitations

Obesity is classed as having a bodymass index (BMI) of 30 and above for those aged 18 and older. In children, those in the 95th BMI percentile are considered obese.

This is calculated in the following way.

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 9.25.31 AM

So if you're 185 pounds and 6 foot tall, you first multiple 72 by 72, which 5,184, and then divide 185 by that figure.

That leaves roughly 0.0356, which when multiplied by 703 produces a BMI of 25.08, which is technically "overweight."

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 9.10.07 AM

TFAH concedes that the BMI calculation is an inexpensive method of determining obesity but "has its limitations and is not accurate for all individuals."

As it notes, "muscular" people will often have a lower body fat level than their BMI would suggest.

Next Up

Peyton Manning John Randle Twitter

What was Peyton Manning doing in Minnesota?

It's apparently for an upcoming episode of his TV show, "Peyton's Place."

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 25

The test positivity rate has dropped for the first time since before Christmas.

liz collin wcco youtube screengrab

Liz Collin reveals she is leaving WCCO

"Thank you for trusting me to tell your stories," she wrote in Tuesday's announcement.

jimmy john's rochester antimask rant guy

Video: Man harasses Jimmy John's workers, wishes death on them over mask mandate

"When are you going to start using that brain inside of your head," the man asks.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines

Michigan writer: 'Don't count out the Vikings' on Jim Harbaugh

Are the Vikings a dark horse to hire Michigan's head coach?

st louis park shooting 1

St. Louis Park PD release photos of vehicle involved in shooting on I-394

A man was shot multiple times as he drove down I-394 last week.

FJ68m4BWYAMdiw-

Perfect 10: Gophers gymnasts make history with two perfect scores

Mya Hooten and Ona Loper were literally perfect on Monday night.

Dean Evason

Tempers flare as Wild hammer Canadiens

Montreal was anything but polite after the Wild picked up an 8-2 victory.

Blaine VFW video screengrab crop N West Twitter

Authorities now looking into MN lawmaker's report of assault

Video shows Rep. Nolan West being grabbed and pushed out of a public event.

TajPharmaImages WIkimedia Commons ivermectin

COVID treatments: Essentia Health to help test 3 existing meds

The clinical trial includes the much-discussed drug ivermectin.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.48.57 PM

Suspect crashes into Minneapolis snow plow, fires shots at plow driver

The plow driver was pulled to the side of the road when the incident happened.

Related

weight-loss-2036969_1280

Study: Minnesota's obesity rate reaches a new record high

The annual State of Obesity report makes for unwelcome reading for Minnesotans.

obese, obesity

U of M's Osterholm: Obesity could be deadly factor in U.S. COVID-19 outbreak

Gov. Walz said on Monday that obesity is a factor the state will start looking at.

coronavirus, covid-19, drive-thru testing

Walz: Minnesota's outbreak could be 8-10 days behind New York

There are more than 2,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York.

covid-19, coronavirus, ICU

Saturday update: Minnesota exceeds 1,000 COVID-19 deaths

There are 589 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, including 263 in intensive care.