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Obesity Statistics in North Carolina
Updated on May 4, 2023
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Obesity Statistics in North Carolina
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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.

North Carolina Obesity Statistics Overview 

Here are some key statistics about Obesity in North Carolina:

  • 36.2% of North Carolina adults were obese in 2012
  • By 2021, the rate of obesity among North CarolinaÕs adult population was 36%
  • The trend of obesity in North Carolina has been steadily increasing since 2012, with the percentage of adults with obesity rising from 36.2% in 2012 to 36% in 2021.

North Carolina Eating Habits Statistics

  • In 2021, 40.4% of North CarolinaÕs adult population reported eating less than one serving of fruit per day
  • In North Carolina, the percentage of adults who consume less than 1 serving of fruit daily has fluctuated from 37.4% in 2017 to 38.1% in 2019 and 40.4% in 2021. (lower is better)
  • 18.1 of adults in North Carolina said they ate less than one serving of vegetable daily in 2021
  • North Carolina's percentage of adults who comsume less than 1 serving of vegetables daily has changed from 15.6% in 2017 to 17.1% in 2019 and 18.1% in 2021. (lower is better)

North Carolina Physical Activity Statistics

  • As much as 22.3% of North Carolina adults said they did not engage in any physical activity in 2021
  • North Carolina's percentage of adults who engage in no physical activity has gone down from 25.6% in 2017 to 22.3% in 2021. (lower is better)
  • In 2019, 50.5% of adults in North Carolina were getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week
  • The percentage of adults in North Carolina getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week has gone up from 48.6% in 2013 to 50.5% in 2019. (higher is better)
  • It is estimated that 31.9% of North CarolinaÕs adults were doing lifts at least twice a week in 2019
  • The percentage of adults in North Carolina lifting twice per week has gone up from 27.9% in 2013 to 31.9% in 2019. (higher is better)

Graphs

Rate of Obesity in North Carolina Adults from 2012 to 2021

Fruit Consumption Among North Carolina Adults from 2017 to 2021

Vegetable Consumption Among North Carolina Adults from 2017 to 2021

Percentage of North Carolina Adults With No Physical Activity from 2017 to 2021


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


Percentage of North Carolina 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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