Redrawing the US Obesity Landscape: Bias-Corrected Estimates of State-Specific Adult Obesity Prevalence

Citation:

Ward ZJ, Long MW, Resch SC, Gortmaker SL, Cradock AL, Giles C, Hsiao A, Wang CY. Redrawing the US Obesity Landscape: Bias-Corrected Estimates of State-Specific Adult Obesity Prevalence. PLoS One. 2016;11 (3) :e0150735.

Date Published:

2016

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: State-level estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underestimate the obesity epidemic because they use self-reported height and weight. We describe a novel bias-correction method and produce corrected state-level estimates of obesity and severe obesity. METHODS: Using non-parametric statistical matching, we adjusted self-reported data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2013 (n = 386,795) using measured data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (n = 16,924). We validated our national estimates against NHANES and estimated bias-corrected state-specific prevalence of obesity (BMI≥30) and severe obesity (BMI≥35). We compared these results with previous adjustment methods. RESULTS: Compared to NHANES, self-reported BRFSS data underestimated national prevalence of obesity by 16% (28.67% vs 34.01%), and severe obesity by 23% (11.03% vs 14.26%). Our method was not significantly different from NHANES for obesity or severe obesity, while previous methods underestimated both. Only four states had a corrected obesity prevalence below 30%, with four exceeding 40%-in contrast, most states were below 30% in CDC maps. CONCLUSIONS: Twelve million adults with obesity (including 6.7 million with severe obesity) were misclassified by CDC state-level estimates. Previous bias-correction methods also resulted in underestimates. Accurate state-level estimates are necessary to plan for resources to address the obesity epidemic.
Last updated on 12/01/2017