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Obesity Statistics in Iowa
Updated on May 4, 2023
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Obesity Statistics in Iowa
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Obesity is a condition characterized by the presence of excess body fat. A person who is obese has a body mass index (BMI) of over 30.

The United States currently ranks as the most obese high-income country in the world.1 19 out of 50 U.S. states have obesity rates over 35 percent as of 2022.2

Obesity puts you at risk for multiple chronic conditionsÑsuch as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But it can be treated and prevented with weight management.

One way to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight is to eat more fruits and vegetables.3 Regular exercise can enhance the effects of a calorie-restricted diet.4

For country-level statistics, read our Obesity Statistics in the United States.

Iowa Obesity Statistics Overview 

Here are some key statistics about Obesity in Iowa:

  • 34.3% of Iowa adults were obese in 2012
  • By 2021, the rate of obesity among IowaÕs adult population was 36.4%
  • The trend of obesity in Iowa has been steadily increasing over the past decade, with the percentage of adults with obesity rising from 30.9% in 2014 to 36.4% in 2021.

Iowa Eating Habits Statistics

  • In 2021, 41.5% of IowaÕs adult population reported eating less than one serving of fruit per day
  • Iowa's percentage of adults who comsume less than 1 serving of fruit daily has fluctuated from 35.6% in 2017 to 40.5% in 2019 and 41.5% in 2021. (lower is better)
  • 23 of adults in Iowa said they ate less than one serving of vegetable daily in 2021
  • Iowa's percentage of adults who consume less than 1 serving of vegetables daily has fluctuated from 19.3% in 2017 to 22.7% in 2019 and 23% in 2021. (lower is better)

Iowa Physical Activity Statistics

  • As much as 24.7% of Iowa adults said they did not engage in any physical activity in 2021
  • Iowa's percentage of adults who engage in no physical activity has gone up from 25% in 2017 to 24.7% in 2021. (lower is better)
  • In 2019, 49.1% of adults in Iowa were getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week
  • In Iowa, the percentage of adults getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week has gone up from 46.9% in 2013 to 50.2% in 2015, and then down to 49.1% in 2019. (higher is better)
  • It is estimated that 32.9% of IowaÕs adults were doing lifts at least twice a week in 2019
  • The percentage of adults in Iowa who are lifting twice per week has gone up from 27.2% in 2013 to 32.9% in 2019. (higher is better)


Rate of Obesity in Iowa Adults from 2012 to 2021

Fruit Consumption Among Iowa Adults from 2017 to 2021

Vegetable Consumption Among Iowa Adults from 2017 to 2021

Percentage of Iowa Adults With No Physical Activity from 2017 to 2021

Percentage of Iowa Adults With 150 Minutes of Moderate Physical Activity Per Week from 2013 to 2019

Percentage of Iowa Adults Who Perform Lifts Two Times Weekly from 2013 to 2019

Why Obesity Is A Problem

People who are obeseÑwhen compared to people with normal weightÑhave a higher risk for many serious diseases and health conditions.

Studies show obesity increases your risk for the following:5,6

  • Breathing problems (e.g., sleep apnea)
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Some types of cancer
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Death

Obesity also reduces your quality of life. YouÕre more likely to experience mental health problems, body pain, and difficulty functioning in your daily life.7,8,9

Why Eating Fruits & Vegetables Matters

Decreasing your calorie intake is an important step when youÕre trying to lose weight. However, this doesnÕt mean you have to eat less.

Eating more fruits and vegetables allow you to decrease your calorie intake without depriving yourself. This is because they are rich in fiber and water.3

Fruits and vegetables can make you feel full without the calories. They can also provide you with other essential nutrients for maintaining good health.

The recommended dietary intake for American adults is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit per day and 2.5 to 3.5 cups of vegetables per day.10,11

How Regular Exercise Helps

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity per week and at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities.12

While exercising contributes to good health, exercise alone has very little effect on a personÕs weight.13

Studies show you have to exercise for more than the recommended 150 minutes weekly to lose and maintain a healthy weight.13 
If you want to lose weight more efficiently, most experts recommend combining exercise with a calorie-restricted diet and a healthy lifestyle.4

Updated on May 4, 2023
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13 sources cited
Updated on May 4, 2023
  1. "Global Obesity Levels." ProCon, Brittanica.

  2. "State of Obesity 2022: Better Policies for a Healthier America." Trust for America’s Health. 

  3. "How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  4. "Diet and exercise in management of obesity and overweight." Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

  5. "Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Systematic Evidence Review from the Obesity Expert Panel." National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute.

  6. "Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults." National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute.

  7. "Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5•24 million UK adults." Lancet.

  8. "Obesity and psychopathology in women: a three decade prospective study." International Journal of Obesity.

  9. "Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies." Archives of General Psychiatry.

  10. "Fruits." MyPlate, United States Department of Agriculture.

  11. "Vegetables." MyPlate, United States Department of Agriculture. 

  12. "Current Guidelines: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans." Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

  13. "Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance." Diabetes Spectrum, National Center for Biotechnology Information."

Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.
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