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Indicator Report - Obesity - Adult Prevalence

Why Is This Important?

Obesity is associated with an increased risk for a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers (endometrial, colon, kidney, esophageal, and post-menopausal breast cancer.) In both New Mexico and the United States, the percentage of adults who are obese, based on telephone survey data, has more than doubled since 1990. Excess weight also contributes to the development of arthritis, a chronic disease that is the leading cause of disability amongst adults in the nation and the state.

Obesity Among Adults by County, New Mexico 2011-2013

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Quartile Map of Percentage of Adults Who Were Obese by County, 2008-2010

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A "Quartile" map assigns areas to four groups. Each group includes the SAME NUMBER of areas. Group membership and map color are based on the rank order of area rates, from the lowest rate to the highest. The bottom 25% (bottom quartile) of areas has the lowest rates, the next 25% has the second lowest rates, the next 25% has the second highest rates and the top 25% of areas has the highest rates. Areas with the darkest color have the highest rates. Percentile maps such as this assign areas to different groups regardless of how close the rates actually are. In other words, just because two areas are in different groups doesn't necessarily mean that their rates are significantly different. For small area background information and reference maps, please visit:

Data Notes

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30.0 kg/m2. BMI is calculated as: [[weight (in pounds) / [height (in inches)]2] x 703].

BMI is a measure of a person's weight in relationship to height. Obesity refers to excessive body fat. For most adults, BMI is strongly correlated with total body fat, and serves as a good surrogate measure for obesity.   U.S. value is 2009. U.S. value is the median percentage across participating States and the District of Columbia (DC).

**Note: Percentages based on fewer than 50 completed surveys are not shown because they do not meet the DOH standard for data release. For 2008-2010, De Baca, and Harding counties did not meet the DOH small numbers rule. The county-level BRFSS data used for this indicator were weighted to be representative of the New Mexico Health Region populations. Had the data been weighted to be representative of each county population, the results would likely have been different.

Data Source

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.

Other Views


The adult obesity prevalence is reported as the percent of BRFSS respondents whose self-reported height and weight corresponds to a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30.0.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Number of obese adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
Denominator: Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Page Content Updated On 11/28/2014, Published on 01/09/2015
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 28 February 2015 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:54:03 MST